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The Evolution of God
3.89
A one-trick pony from Wright

This book could, and should, have one of two alternative titles.

It's either "Nonzero: The Religion Primer" or "The Evoluti
...more
May 28, 2009
Nov 29, 2012
 
Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010
3.69
"Coming Apart" is quite possibly more mendacious than "The Bell Curve." It's certainly more hypocritical, and given that Murray's whole thesis is ulti ...more
Feb 18, 2012
Feb 19, 2012
 
The Happy Atheist
3.45
Per my status update, for any non-Gnu Atheists, skeptics, agnostics, etc., who are familiar with PZ, this book is what you'd expect. Basically, it's a ...more
Sep 09, 2013
Sep 08, 2013
 
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
4.22
Free Leonard Peltier!

Why?

Well, you have to read this book, but here's a synopsis that nobody but the most diehard 1970s FBI defender can try to deny.

M
...more
Feb 2006
Dec 17, 2012
 
Isabella: The Warrior Queen
4.11
The book's a comedy of errors and stereotypes.

In the first chapter, I could see what seemed to be some definite Christianist bias and bad-type revisio
...more
Dec 20, 2014
Dec 19, 2014
 
The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
3.90
The Commodore comes alive

It's hard, quite hard, translating 19th century finances to today, or stature.

But, pretend that one person was a pioneer in b
...more
Jun 30, 2010
Nov 26, 2012
 
The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power
3.97
Age of Acquiescence

First, Steve Fraser has a word for us to learn: “Precariat.” You can probably see the word from which this portmanteau derives, in
...more
Mar 03, 2015
Mar 03, 2015
 
Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything
3.31
Call this book review "The deep loneliness of Barbara Ehrenreich" or maybe "The Tragedy of Barbara Ehrenreich."

I wrestled with exactly how to rate thi
...more
Aug 17, 2014
Aug 17, 2014
 
The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire
3.86
A solid overview of Republican Rome.

Everitt, especially in looking at the early years of the republic, and the ancient authorial sources, breaks their
...more
Dec 28, 2012
Dec 01, 2012
 
The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths
3.90
This review should prove that I don't always "high-side" my reviewing stars. In fact, let me be blunt — now that I've read one Shermer book, I have no ...more
Jun 28, 2011
Nov 19, 2012
 
All In: The Education of General David Petraeus
3.16
While there are "sympathetic" biographies in a good sense, like Robert K. Massie's new bio of Catherine the Great, there are sympathetic bios that are ...more
May 09, 2012
May 11, 2012
 
Faitheist: How An Atheist Found Common Ground With The Religious
3.87
Disclosure: I am a Facebook friend of Chris.

First, I agree with his take on Gnu Atheism. Very much so.

I also agree with the idea of trying to find co
...more
Jan 27, 2013
Jan 27, 2013
 
Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power
4.09
I'm going to be a bit contrarian and down-rate this book. (Ideally, I'd put it at 3.5 stars, maybe 3.75.)

It's good, good indeed for what it covers. Bu
...more
Jul 17, 2012
Jul 23, 2012
 
Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind
3.72
This book looked interesting on the shelves; I thought that, if nothing else, I might learn one or two things, at least, about post-Mycenean, pre-clas ...more
Jul 21, 2014
Jul 21, 2014
 
Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee
4.04
A horrible, ethically challenged book that's also not that new, not that good

Korda's treatment of the Seven Days campaign is the only good think in th
...more
Aug 20, 2014
Aug 20, 2014
 
The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters
3.89
Good technological and business review; just so-so environmentally

This book is especially valuable for people wanting to understand the technological
...more
Jan 25, 2014
Jan 28, 2014
 
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works
3.94
You can learn to meditate, or something similar, without this book, without the "franchise" that Harris seems to be creating, and without the religiou ...more
Jul 25, 2014
Jul 25, 2014
 
Glorious Accident
4.27
Would you like to bring to life the scene of Plato's Symposium? Who would you invite in terms of "deep thinkers"?

Well, this book, which is a transcrip
...more
Apr 10, 2000
Dec 24, 2012
 
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
4.17
Simply fantastic book about the run-up to World War I.

Things I learned include:
1. The Triple Entente, especially from the British angle, was not exclu
...more
Sep 2013
Aug 27, 2013
 
Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to Give Love, Create Beauty and Find Peace
3.63
Tosh. You're either an atheist, or a god-believer. Not both. (Not the first time I heard such mush. I once heard a Ph.D. in philosophy and self-define ...more
May 30, 2014
May 30, 2014
 
Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence
3.90
Once again, Armstrong offers up tendentious and inaccurate views of religion in general and individual religions in particular in pursuit of an agenda ...more
Feb 22, 2015
Feb 22, 2015
 
Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln
3.94
Great addition to the parallel lives concept

The most thought-provoking and controversial parts are on the Lincoln side.

1. Was he really that much of,
...more
Nov 2009
Nov 27, 2012
 
The Loudest Voice in the Room: How Roger Ailes and Fox News Remade American Politics
3.80
This good-but-not-great book tells the detailed story of Roger Ailes first rise in the political world, then second, much larger rise in the world of ...more
Jun 07, 2014
Jun 07, 2014
 
The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari
3.84
A solid book about some aspects of the present and future of southern Africa.

First, Theroux is a skeptic almost to the point of cynicism about First W
...more
Oct 20, 2013
Oct 25, 2013
 
America's Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By
3.93
Good, but not nearly as good as all the fluffing reviews crack it up to be. And, it's got a couple of specific problems.

It's perhaps a 3.5 star, but,
...more
Mar 09, 2013
Mar 11, 2013
 
His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
3.63
A grudge-holding hack writes an autobiography that's not that great, even by standards of medium-form sports writing.

The grudge-holding hack?

First, I
...more
May 18, 2014
May 18, 2014
 
Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love
3.59
Clearly, as Thomas Maier shows, that was the case in the marriage of William Masters and Virginia Johnson. It's not just that a quasi-forcible sexual ...more
Apr 08, 2010
Nov 26, 2012
 
The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success
3.88
When Stark can make broad-sweeping, but not very accurate statements such as "Capitalism was developed by the great monastic estates," you know to buc ...more
Dec 20, 2005
Dec 18, 2012
 
Pagans and Christians
3.82
Late paganism was moribund, decrepit and sclerotic; it had no chance against the rise of Christianity.

Well, so goes the historical myth.

But, not true,
...more
Oct 12, 2006
Dec 11, 2012
 
Marie Antoinette: The Journey
3.90
Very good book. I've never read a bio of her before, nor an extended history of France at the end of the ancien regime. I knew that she probably had n ...more
Oct 07, 2012
Oct 09, 2012
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