How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered The World
Chapter 1 : this pours contempt upon Thatcherism and...more
In the back of my mind, I have been thinking that this book might spark controversy as the story about the people living on Pitcairn Island did. (Not that my review of that book, Lost Paradise by Kathy Marks, did, but I mean the topic in general.)
Mumbo-Jumbo. I know what it means to me, but I suspect that the phrase represents vastly different things to different people. It immediately conjures up thoughts of the occultism and spiritualism that was rampant at the end of the 19th and start of the...more
First, what I liked about this book. I do very much like how he demolishes loony ideas of both the Left and the Right, and in fact he casts scorn rather more on the former than the latter. I relished his blast against Noam Chomsky, a person for whom I feel an ever increasing lack of intellectual respect. (It is difficult to discover Wheen's own political position, althoug...more
Wheen's basic thesis is that modern western ci...more
From Publishers Weekly
British columnist and satirist Wheen presents an exhaustive but ultimately exhausting full-frontal assault on the past 25 years of "Counter-Enlightenment idiocy." His fencing dummies include Margaret Thatcher, Reaganomics, the Iranian Revolution, the Christian Coalition,...more
Moving through religion, foreign policy, lifestyle gurus, and in what was a surprisingly funny chapter, pompous academics. Both the left an...more
Watch THE TRAP: WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR DREAMS OF FREEDOM - The modern concept of freedom.
Watch THE CENTURY OF THE SELF - How Freud's theories concerning the unconscious led to Edward Bernays' development of public relations, the use of desire over need and self-actualisation as a means of achieving economic growth and the political control...more
In the end he attacked the muddled thinking of some...more
Wheen's thesis is that we are slipping back from an age of rational enlightenment into a p...more
The Enlightenment was an attitude rather than an ideology. Its foundations come from the likes of Francis Bacon, John Locke, Newton, Thomas Jefferson and David Hume. There was of course different strands in thought and different options between say the contin...more
That's it - now to me, he leaves out the hard work...more
The prolgue is strange but was interesting. A comparison of political change in tehran and britain. The conclusion that he came to did not seemed to be linked and up to the point I read to the author had not explained how he came to that view.
I did find chapter 2 on...more
With great wit, erudition, and more than a smattering of anger and outrage, Wheen defends the values and ideas of the Enlightenment against the mystical and obscurantist encroachments by post-modernism, fundamentalism, creationism, middle-way liberals, and neo-conservatives.
But the book gets all "economic" about halfway through and never goes back to the fun stuff. He spends countless pages talking about globalization and American foreign...more
As someone in Ireland, the IMF parts were hardest-hitting, having seen our government protect foreign lenders to our banks & bailing out the same failing institutions with tax money, exactly what was mentioned in this book written before it happened!
Wheen was educated at Copthorne Prep School, Harrow School and Royal Holloway College, University of London. At Harrow he was a contemporary of Mark Thatcher who has been a recurring subject of his journalism. He is a member of the 'soap' side of the Wheen family, whose family business...more