Once again another great book by Jonah Goldberg! He is an incisive analyst of, well, anything he cares to write about. This is the 2nd book I've read...moreOnce again another great book by Jonah Goldberg! He is an incisive analyst of, well, anything he cares to write about. This is the 2nd book I've read by him; I find his challenges to the status quo to be cognitively nourishing.
One thing, his section on the witch hunts (beginning on page 243) did not sit well with me. He makes the case that the Catholic church is not as guilty as often portrayed. For example, he claims that the Church *only* condemned & killed 45,000 for witchcraft whereas some scholars give a count of a million or millions.
Give me a break dude! Who cares if it was 45,000 slaughtered or millions it was the frickin' Catholic church that claims to be Christ's church on earth ... God's voice on earth ... how can anybody take seriously a Church - claiming to be universal - that has willfully exterminated women (under the charge of witchcraft), Jews, Independent thinkers, gays & lesbians, and the list goes on.
Being an apologist for the Inquisition does not sit well with me which lowered my rating from 5 stars to 4 stars.(less)
THIS book is very intriguing. I am an aficionado of werewolf stories so this one definitely fills my occasional need for the vampire or werewolf drama...moreTHIS book is very intriguing. I am an aficionado of werewolf stories so this one definitely fills my occasional need for the vampire or werewolf drama. The author is a gifted strategist in that the plot is well-developed and meted out in such a way so as to keep the reader on edge. Every werewolf story - in this case they are called GOLIA - has its origin myth and in this case it was superb. The creatures originate among the early Egyptians and assist the children of Israel in fleeing their Pharoahnic servitude and through a compelling and complex storyline end up in the Carpathian Mountains.
IT seems to me that the more sophisticated storytellers, including the present author, but extending to Anne Rice (The Wolf Gift & The Wolves of Midwinter) and of course Glen Duncan (Talulla Rising & The Last Werewolf) know how to bridge the relationship between humans and dogs. Clearly dogs were the first domesticated animal some 10,000 years ago consequently wolves/dogs have been there alongside humans at the beginning of civilization and are thus part of our ‘cultural DNA.’ The werewolf writer must tap into that relationship in order to capture the modern reader. This story makes the wolf/man connection intertwined and symbiotic.
THE reason that this book did not get a 5 star rating from me is due to its obvious anti-Jewish sentiments. The multi-tiered plot often dealt with Israelis (Mossad and Sayeret Matkal and even the Israeli Prime Minister) as sinister beings. Ben-Nevin was a major player in this drama, this was a character who turned against his own people and killed for avarice. In fact, every Jewish character in this book was bad or evil. That’s right, there was not one good or even neutral Jewish character in the book. Anya, the Gypsy princess, was originally portrayed as an Israeli Mossad agent but 2/3 of the way through the book, the reader discovers that she is really a Gypsy and was being used by the Israeli government. Even the Sayeret Matkal, who have been involved in very public and heroic missions to save Jews such as the incident in Entebbe, were portrayed in the book as the ‘worlds fiercest killers’ and as ‘death squads.’
HOW can it be that the author showcases some ‘good’ gypsies and some ‘bad’ ones, some ‘good’ Romanians and some ‘bad’ ones, some ‘good’ Americans and some ‘bad’ ones and so forth yet the reader is given to believe that there is not one good Jew or Israeli alive – or at least not worth mention, even within the space of one sentence is this 437 page book.
OH, and it gets better (read: sarcasm). The reader is treated to the especially dubious narrative that the Israelis (collectively) want the secret of the Gypsies kept on the hush-hush because it will call into question their ‘chosen-ness.’ As a result the Israeli government gives the order to destroy the Gypsy temple and the Golia in order to keep the truth a secret from the world that the Jews were not chosen by God. Sounds like a whole lot of sour grapes to me and all of it is completely unnecessary.
This is definitely a good book and helps to get the discussion about Common Core going. Some of Glenn Beck's arguments are slanted or undeveloped. Tha...moreThis is definitely a good book and helps to get the discussion about Common Core going. Some of Glenn Beck's arguments are slanted or undeveloped. That said, it is a good review of the issues. This would make for a very lively book club selection. (less)
The issues brought forth by Judge Andrew Napolitano are not new to me (though the details and some court cases definitely are) since I regularly read...moreThe issues brought forth by Judge Andrew Napolitano are not new to me (though the details and some court cases definitely are) since I regularly read liberty-themed books. That said, it was a great read. Napolitano's arguments are clear and logical and, most importantly, he does not ramble like some authors do: he stays on point. I love that he brings every issue back to the Constitution. At the back of the book he lists the Constitutional definitions of the Presidency,the legislature, the judiciary, and other concerns of import & finally a copy of the Constitution. All said, besides being an excellent book, it also doubles as a work of reference. Keep this book within arm's reach !!(less)
This book is a conspicuous landmark in the battlefield for (1) freedom OF speech and (2) freedom FROM tyranny. This man says what many of us fear to s...moreThis book is a conspicuous landmark in the battlefield for (1) freedom OF speech and (2) freedom FROM tyranny. This man says what many of us fear to say; he is marked for death by numerous Islamic fatwas. He also has a keen understanding of American history and an admiration for the American ideal of liberty. The press has framed him as an "Islamophobic, racist, bigot" but he is quite the opposite. He fights for us so that you and I can live in a free society. The day that he loses, we all lose. (less)
This book surely places Thomas Sowell in the realm of 'the scholar's scholar'. I find his analysis of society to be enlivening yet, at times, a bit di...moreThis book surely places Thomas Sowell in the realm of 'the scholar's scholar'. I find his analysis of society to be enlivening yet, at times, a bit disheartening especially when discussing the damage done to our society by those intellectuals whose goal is to weaken the bonds that unite us as a culture. I especially enjoyed - and was educated by - his discussion of categories of people and the ways in which the national narrative distorts the data to achieve its misguided goals.(less)
This book is powerful. The author dissects many of the cultural beliefs/myths we have in this culture. For example, we've all been taught that 'fascis...moreThis book is powerful. The author dissects many of the cultural beliefs/myths we have in this culture. For example, we've all been taught that 'fascism always comes from the Right.' Goldberg spends about a 5th of the book proving that fascism is a Left phenomenon and how the political Left managed to shift it - erroneously - to the Right in public opinion.
If you are interested in what we believe, why we believe, and if it's true this book is for you. If you are person who does NOT want to be challenged then do NOT buy this book, this book is only for adults who can handle critical thinking !!(less)
This is a fine review of WWII. I just finished teaching the Unit on WWII so I read it as a quick review. It's a simple telling of WWII but if you alre...moreThis is a fine review of WWII. I just finished teaching the Unit on WWII so I read it as a quick review. It's a simple telling of WWII but if you already have foundational knowledge on the topic it will stimulate all of the details that have learnt but thought you forgot. (less)