The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization
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The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization (Politically Incorrect Guides)

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  114 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Everything you should know--but PC professors won't teach--about our Western heritage
Western civilization is the envy of the globe. It has given to the world universally accepted understandings of human rights (rooted in Judeo-Christian principles), created standards for art, music, and literature that have never been equaled, and originated political and social systems th...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published May 27th 2008 by Regnery Publishing (first published January 1st 2008)
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John Geddie
I picked it up on a whim, thinking it was another book focusing on minor or unheard of events. Instead I was faced with a very, very slanted version of history where the author made no attempt to avoid inserting his personal feelings and interpretations into history.

To begin with, I certainly agree with him that early western civilization has gotten shortchanged in classrooms of late, although I tend to think that it has more to do with an education system focused on a one-size-fits-all solutio...more
Aaron Miller
Great for what it is: a guide to read alongside other histories. I expect even liberals could get value out of this book, because it raises good questions and encourages critical thinking. And it's full of recommendations for learning material.

I found the early chapters on Greece and Rome most interesting. Toward the end, it feels like Esolen is stretching a bit, but good points are made throughout. For most interested readers, there's likely some preaching to the choir, but even those familiar...more
Mr. Noah Sturdevant
Smarmy, self righteous, and lacking in actual history, this is not a book I can recommend. I found out while reading that the whole "Politically Incorrect" book series is just an excuse for right wing nut-jobs to spout off about their religious beliefs and mostly ignore the topics they pretend to cover. I stuck with it to the end, but I am giving up on this series.
Jeanne
I liked and agreed with most of this. At the end the author concludes that the only way to rescue Western, i.e. American Civilization is for the nation to follow Jesus Christ. This is the entire premise of the Book of Mormon, so I heartily agree with him.
ladydusk
Library. Blackstone Audio CD.

I've been listening to this off and on since early January. I enjoyed it immensely.

Esolen takes a strong view of Western Civilization as something to be preserved and cherished, despite its ups and downs throughout history. He holds out hope for the future based in his belief in God and Christ Jesus. A strong Catholic, there is a lot of Catholic thought included here, even defense of the institution of the Roman Catholic Church against revisionist historians who woul...more
Janice
I teach a Western civilization course for a tutorial service and I thought I would check out this book. Esolen writes in a very readable style and touches on the history, art, ideas and people that have made the Western world what it is. He comes from a strong Catholic perspective and is not apologetic about it. He brings up some excellent points that in our politically correct society we overlook or downplay. I would not use it as a textbook but I have used some of his points in class and looke...more
Wes Brummer
As with other books bearing this brand, "Politically Incorrect," (personally, it ought to be called Revisionist, but chalk it up to marketing.) the target audience are conservatives who want to see themselves as one of the "enlightened ones." Good luck with that.

The book is a mish-mash of personal opinion, free-form bible lecture, and skewed facts. All of this filtered through a Fox News style commentary.

I guess I was expecting a "Don't Knew Much About . . ." style of book, mixing stuff we were...more
Jeff
A surprising "meaty" book for a popular series such as PIG. This book requires attentive reading, not just a casual scan. I found the early chapters hard to digest, as the author does not make it clear exactly where the narrative is going. It's not until 2-3 chapters into the book that the bigger picture starts to become clear, at which point the information in earlier chapters makes sense in retrospect. Recommended.
Colin
Difficult to know how to rate this - much of the time I disagreed with the premises and agreed with the conclusions, or agreed with the premises and disagreed with the conclusions. Esolen has a good handle on the facts of Western history and even why they are important - but his own prejudices taint the entire work, in my opinion. Interesting because it is thought-provoking, but difficult to recommend.
Void lon iXaarii
I was as far as I can remember of the belief that people are wrong to assume ancient people were stupid(er) and it's books like this that confirm my hypothesis. Some very deep stuff in here. Many fail to realize how many of their values are actually inherited, and many of them would be quite surprised how often they are inherited from exactly those they might be attacking.
Erik
Oh my, this was fun. Esolen pulls no punches. I supposed those who need to hear would not listen to him for two seconds, but he does not seems to care. This certainly is not a history, so guide is a good title. He covers the ideas that defined Western Civ and their source, and their destruction as of late. Might learn some things you did not know.
Jay
Great historical perspective, but denser than I expected, and it sometimes veers off into what I considered to be the esoteric. Having a degree in philosophy would definitely help in absorbing the good information here. It also takes a strong Christian point of view, which I approve of but which some readers might find off-putting.
☯Bettie☯
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Matt
A rollicking ride through Western Civ, which proves that to fully understand something you have to love it.
Chris
I really enjoyed this book! I highly recommend it.
Jason
Some good nuggets for use in Western Civ-type classes.
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Anthony M. Esolen is a professor of English at Providence College, and noted translator of classic works, as well as a popular writer for magazines like the Claremont Review and Touchstone, of which he is a senior editor. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy, Lucretius' On the Nature of Things, and Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. He also writes a column for the Inside Catholic website.

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