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The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism

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3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  162 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Is global capitalism on its last legs? Is the era of American leadership over? Has the West begun a decline into a new Dark Age? Does American civilization deserve to survive? These are the unnerving questions raised by the Great Crash of 2009.

This book presents a radically new answer, insisting that global society has only begun to realize its full potential. Author Howa
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Hardcover, 607 pages
Published November 24th 2009 by Prometheus Books (first published November 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 447)
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Howard
Feb 03, 2010 Howard rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm biased. I wrote it.
David
May 11, 2010 David rated it did not like it
At first blush, this book looks quite interesting. The author, drawing from research in physics, biology, economics, history, and even religion, sketches a new vision of what capitalism can be in the 21st century. However, careful readers will quickly be struck by substantial liberties in details. One might forgive this in an essay or informal, philosophical work, but not in a work dressed as a serious work of scholarship, complete with 80 pages of endnotes.

As a single example, on pg. 65 the au
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Melissa McShane
The subtitle of this book, A Radical Re-vision of Capitalism, is spot on. Howard Bloom is not "revising" capitalism in the sense of altering it, he's "re-vising" by looking at this hugely influential, oft-maligned aspect of human culture in a different way. He puts well-known facts (and lesser-known facts) together to show that a reflexive dismissal of capitalism as the cause of most human ills misses its true purpose and virtue: capitalism works not because of acquisitive power brokers hiding i ...more
Stephen Twelker
Apr 22, 2010 Stephen Twelker marked it as to-read
A sprawling, playful, sometimes quixotic exploration of how our DNA has manifested -- necessarily, Bloom argues -- capitalism. Rather than arguing the relative merits and pitfalls in the system or pitting it against socialism -- a tired matchup these days -- he shows the psychological, sociological, even genetic and physical origins of the economic system that arguably dominates the globe. The book closes with an impassioned plea for those who have benefited most from the capitalist system to us ...more
Toby Worth
May 02, 2014 Toby Worth rated it it was amazing
This is one (astonishingly experienced and inquisitive) man's interpretation of material he has accumulated through lengthy research and a long road to wisdom.

It's not science - science doesn't have pictures on the front - but Howard makes his points with such ferocious support from case studies in comparable systems that your intellect is satisfied economics is yet another system that follows simple behavioural patterns.

I don't see any governments directly employing these insights onto their e
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Jay G.
Apr 11, 2013 Jay G. rated it liked it
Not his best.
Read global brain.....much better.
J. Gza
E
Sep 10, 2010 E rated it really liked it
getAbstract Book Review: The Genius of the Beast

Since the 2008 crash, capitalism has received a bad rap. Experts and pundits, some still licking their fiscal or psychic wounds, question its future. Renaissance man Howard Bloom says blame does not lie with the system, but with the way people perceive it and what they bring to it. Bloom, a businessman, scientist and philosopher, lays out, in dizzying, swooping detail, how all life, from the smallest bacteria to human beings, is genetically progra
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Maxx
Apr 11, 2012 Maxx rated it really liked it
In the style of James Burke’s BBC television show “Connections”, Howard Bloom’s “The Genius of the Beast a Radical Re-vision of Capitalism” is not all that radical of a perspective on our beloved western system of commerce(well not for Bloom). Perhaps the most radical parts of this work is the dismissal of the Kondratiev’s wave and Adam Smith’s invisible hand, but that has been done before. The true insight in this book comes from Bloom’s understand of the human condition and the way he puts all ...more
Mike
Dec 28, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it
A somewhat unorthodox writing style makes this book slightly ADD in it's change in topics, but the underlying theme of capitalism stemming from natural evolutionary cycles is an interesting premise. I would ignore the two star reviews here and read this one with an open mind. Some of the history that Bloom writes about is fascinating, especially the insight into the music industry. I would still recommend this book for any fan of nonfiction writings.
Thomas Dean
Apr 20, 2012 Thomas Dean rated it really liked it
Definitely a very interesting take on the idea of capitalism actually is. Instead of looking at dollar figures, economic theories, or number crunching, Bloom looks at the premise of what drives human beings. He sets out to define our experiences and desires and how that leads to our decisions. He defines capitalism more in terms of our inner workings.

Bloom spans across human history, from Jericho to Prince, from the 2008 economic crash to not just 1929, but to 1852 and even back to the 16th cent
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Brenda Yagmin
May 28, 2013 Brenda Yagmin rated it it was amazing
Howard Bloom's best book IMO, explaining floridly how capitalism is a cycle of nature similar to other forms of life, consisting of tremendous swings of booms & busts. These cycles benefit us as a species, despite the pitfalls and 'busts' that appear to be self-destructive. Our hope, he explains, is in our unnatural awareness of these cycles and potentiality to BE aware of them and take action to harness them. The book has you thinking about the nature of our very existence and the economic ...more
Virginia
Jan 09, 2011 Virginia rated it it was ok
I really like Howard Bloom. Global Brain was brilliant, as was The Lucifer Principle. But "The Genius of the Beast"? Not so much. It read rather like a first draft that really needed someone to edit it. It felt aimless, disorganized, with teeny chapters that hopped from subject to subject with not much more to connect them beyond his repeating various phrases ad nauseum. Mind you, there was still some good content in there - there's some really interesting stuff in there about his dealings in th ...more
Ken Bateman
Feb 08, 2012 Ken Bateman rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I've tried and tried to finish this book but parts of it just rub me the wrong way.

I don't have a problem with the main thesis. I'm a capitalist deep down to the bone, and the invisible hand can do a better job than any human administrator.

The book presents too many silly anthropomorphisms, and I don't like many of the anthropomorphic metaphors used.

I think the book overemphasizes the importance of salesmanship and marketing. For that matter, too much of the book is about Bloom glorifying himse
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Dean
Dec 02, 2014 Dean rated it really liked it
insight into capitalism from a clean, fresh, uplifting perspective. Read it!
Azriel Odin
Apr 28, 2012 Azriel Odin rated it it was amazing
Very interesting read by Howard Bloom, gives you a whole new look on capitalism and the way it lifted the human condition, advocating reviving moribund business by injecting it with emotion, desire and passion. Bloom explains in this book the power of what he labels the secular genesis machine, the evolutionary search engine, and the two rules of science: the truth at any cost, including the cost of your life, and to look at what is right under your nose as if it is the first time you have seen ...more
David Moore
Sep 03, 2014 David Moore rated it really liked it
A fast-paced and passionate exploration of the Messianic-aspect of capitalism. I believe there's truths in this book that many people choose to ignore or deny. This perhaps enables an interesting debate in favor of capitalism, even during these unsteady times. I particularly enjoyed the infectious descriptions of capitalism's key mechanisms: the transcendence engine, the secular genesis machine and the fission-fusion, expand and contract maneuvers of a biology 'Googling' its potential.
Stacy
Apr 22, 2010 Stacy added it
After hearing this author speak on a recent NPR interview, I was very excited to read this book. However, I soon found out that I don't like this particular style of writing. Within the first 16 pages of writing, the author asks 33 questions. I felt like all I was doing was reading questions, often with vague and unsatisfying answers. I put the book down and 2 weeks later, I'm still not inspired to continue reading it. Oh well.....maybe another time.
Nick Woodall
Finally, an artist who understands business, and the soul that permeates both.
K.J. Kron
Aug 15, 2010 K.J. Kron rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved The Lucifer Principal and really liked the Global Brain. This one is not quite as good. Not sure why - I really enjoyed the memoir portion. I liked hearing his biology and history and how it relates to capitalism. And what is needed to make capitalism great - basically checks and balances. A fun read - but at times a bit repetative.
Alexander Czysz
Feb 11, 2012 Alexander Czysz rated it liked it
So this book defends capitalism as being a natural progression of our biological impulses and its not...total...bullshit? His other work, The Lucifer Principle, is one of my favorites and although he seems a little full of himself, this is worth reading even if you don't completely agree with the premise.
Maurice Lacerda
Nov 03, 2012 Maurice Lacerda rated it it was amazing
This book will make you re-think society, human relations and mass behavior, and understand that our ways of reasoning might have roots deeper than you previously thought possible.
Gary D.
Mar 17, 2012 Gary D. rated it liked it
Going by just this book, Harold Bloom is Uell Stanley Andersen for the 21st century...
Guy
Aug 23, 2013 Guy rated it really liked it
Kind of rambling in spots, but an interesting mix of practical advice with history.
J Scott Shipman
Nov 16, 2011 J Scott Shipman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My review is here: http://zenpundit.com/?p=3264
Will
Jan 18, 2010 Will rated it it was amazing
Howard Bloom has had a huge influence on me.
Natalie
Jun 02, 2011 Natalie marked it as to-read
Shelves: owned-not-read
Another birthday gift :)
Ulrich
Ulrich is currently reading it
Jun 26, 2016
Christopher Goins
Christopher Goins marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2016
AndrewTrac
AndrewTrac marked it as to-read
Jun 13, 2016
Hank Williams
Hank Williams marked it as to-read
Jun 11, 2016
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"I know a lot of people. A lot. And I ask a lot of prying questions. But I've never run into a more intriguing biography than Howard Bloom's in all my born days. " Paul Solman, Business and Economics Correspondent, PBS NewsHour


Howard Bloom has been called “next in a lineage of seminal thinkers that includes Newton, Darwin, Einstein,[and] Freud,” by Britain's Channel4 TV, "the next Stephen Hawking"
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“All of us dream of being part of something greater than ourselves. All of us want to make a contribution. The greatest contribution you make isn't in the money you give to charities. It isn't in the nonprofit foundations you establish. And it isn't in the work you do as a volunteer. Your greatest contribution to something greater, to the lives of others, comes in what you do from nine to five.” 1 likes
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