Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great” as Want to Read:
The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  7,409 ratings  ·  911 reviews

America has a God-shaped hole in its heart, argues New York Times bestselling author Ben Shapiro, and we shouldn't fill it with politics and hate.

In 2016, Ben Shapiro spoke at UC Berkeley. Hundreds of police officers were required from 10 UC campuses across the state to protect his speech, which was -- ironically -- about the necessity for free speech and rational deba

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Broadside e-books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Right Side of History, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Daddy-O If you haven't studied much Western philosophy, get ready to learn A LOT. Even if you have, it's a necessary exposition of the Conservative goal direc…moreIf you haven't studied much Western philosophy, get ready to learn A LOT. Even if you have, it's a necessary exposition of the Conservative goal directed at a contemporary audience; preserving the tradition that made America the most free, prosperous nation in history. If you appreciate these things, it will indeed be "epic."(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,409 ratings  ·  911 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great
Jerrid Kruse
Apr 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book. I believe the judeo-Christian tradition to be a powerful framework to guide our living. However, the book was filled with logical fallacies, false equivalencies, spurious correlations, half truths, and cherry picking of ideas. For example, the author repeatedly makes causal claims based only on the fact that one event happened before the other. He believes the enlightenment was only possible with judeo-Christian values, but ignores the scientific advancement of non-Eu ...more
Brian Popp
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In The Right Side of History, Ben Shapiro gives a stirring defense of the enduring truth found in the philosophy of our founding fathers. In this compact book he manages also to give a high level overview of the entire history of western thought that will be sufficient to understand the "big ideas" of the various contributors and also be good starting point for those who want to dig deeper.

In these turbulent times we are often hyper-focused on the "right now"; this book in my opinion helps us u
Dan Graser
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
I always enjoy reading works of authors with whom I likely have little in common, at least when it comes to social and policy positions. Ben Shapiro is someone frequently cited as the most prominent thinkers of one side of the political divide, and based on the shear number (yes I intend that spelling, I'm calling them sheep) of people I see offloading their own critical thinking to him I suppose that is true. So, even though I was quite annoyed with the extended-rant style of his previous books ...more
Brooke Nelson
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, made-me-think
I'm putting my personal views aside—so far aside you won't be able to spot them for miles—to write this review.

Because preconceived personal beliefs don't really make for an interesting review of another person's nonfiction writing, do they?

Anyway, this book is just stellar. The amount of quotes that made me sit and really think is crazy! I can tell he really put a lot of time and effort into his research. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes learning about Western philosophy
Mike (the Paladin)
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, political
This won't be a long review. I've been down this road before.

Let me say up front that I'm not in blanket agreement with everything in this book... That said I wish I could simply get everyone to read it thoughtfully. It is not the most valuable book you'll ever read. It is not the most insightful book you'll ever read. It is however a well written book that deals with ideas and facts that need to be considered. There are simple facts here that few are aware of...today.

I have so often reviewed bo
Apr 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
Ben Shapiro's book is well researched......however

He managed to write an entire book without once arguing for his premise: that Judeo-Christian is the best, most rational, and ethical system to use for meaning and society.

He spent the entire book dismissing every other position as foolish and never said why or why his viewpoint is better. Very bizarre.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review is beyond my ability to adequately describe the thoroughness and point to point focus over historical periods for homo sapiens' individual and collective cores for their own existence and rules of/for behaviors.

In one point in particular, this finally made me understand the huge differences between two massive Revolutions that happened mere 3 short years apart (American and French) and why they evinced such alternative approaches within both processes and outcomes.

If you have taken
Pierre M
May 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
This entire book is one, slow, painful eye roll; it’s a discounted, expired, dollar-store history lesson for spiritually deprived Sunday school adult dropouts (that have somehow remained devout but require assurance).

Shapiro clumsily argues that the abandonment of the Judeo-Christian tradition is the root of an existential, spiritual crisis in America (a popular narrative among conservatives). To Shapiro, the lack of spiritual meaning or moral purpose in our lives results in a slew of modern da
Oct 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It would be easy to characterise The Right Side of History as a testament to the Archduke of Grift. Which it is. But it's also crazier than that.

Ben Shapiro leveraged his status as a precocious right-wing firebrand into a media empire. Shapiro is an honest seeker of objective truth that, whaddya know, completely accords with his position. Proud owner of a webpage where he disowns his previous articles of absolute truth, Shapiro replaces them with new articles of absolute truth. He recently melt
The author's strong opinion that every American should believe in God, or our culture is lost. Sorry, I disagree. ...more
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thinkers-i-adore
This was the first book that I have read by Ben Shapiro. I enjoy listening to him when I have the time. He’s intelligent, spot on, and speaks with reason. This did not disappoint. Much of it is historical. Despite it not being a lengthy book, it gives a thorough look from the Greeks until modern time. He explains that the twin philosophies of Athens (reason) and Jerusalem (monotheism) gave rise to Western civilization. Ideally, everyone should know this in order to appreciate how good we have it ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I am a big fan of Ben Shapiro. I listen to his podcast most days. I find him intellectually honest. He brings conservatism back to its fundamentals. In fact, I could say that I agree with him on 90% of his policy and reasoning.

This book presents an extremely important premise. Western civilization, which is built of Greek reason and Judeo-Christian values, is one of a kind. It brought us several core beliefs which eventually led to the foundation and the success of the United States. Losing thos
Michael Huang
Skippable unless you enjoy flawed reasoning.
Jun 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
am only 10% of the way through and dear god where to begin. wanted to engage in a piece on the opposite side of the political spectrum as myself and this was clearly *not* the way. this reads like a white, suburban 14-year old’s attempt at writing a clunky rhetoric piece for AP language that would have scored a 1 out of 9 points (if that). Continuously self-aggrandizing, Shapiro does not hesitate to employ every logical fallacy in the books to support his shortsighted, contrived conclusions that ...more
Daria Williamson
Dec 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
My overwhelming impression after listening to the audiobook is that Shapiro is terrified of anyone who thinks differently, or has a different experience of the world. So terrified that he has written a book to "prove them wrong".
But he doesn't even bother to investigate and understand what life is really like for women, for people who don't live in the USA, for people who deal with mental health issues, or for people with any other quality that doesn't align with being a financially-safe, white
Tyler Thomas (Pages of Light)
An exceptional read!

With only 200 pages, Ben Shapiro summarizes the history of Western philosophy in a thrilling and exciting fashion that makes you want to keep reading. He masterfully boils down each philosopher to the root of their ideas, explains its impact in the culture at that time and how each new philosophy led into the the next step of history.

He makes a compelling case for what we have lost in culture and gives clear and concise steps for us to take action on that will move us as a so
Keith Turek
Apr 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Reactionary nonsense. A right wing fairy tale utterly oblivious to any real understanding of history and the profound moral shortcomings of "the West". ...more
Christian Tempest
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was very surprised by the historical and philosophical depth of this book. It was admittedly not what I expected from Ben Shapiro, mainly due to its non-political nature (at least until the end) as well as the fervor with which he advocates for and defends religion and the belief in God (something that he generally avoids discussing in detail, at least while in the public eye). In any case, regardless of my initial surprise at his approach and ambition, by the end I was quite taken with many o ...more
Daniel Kukwa
Jun 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
The easiest book I've ever read, where with each passing page, all I did was mutter "no" over and over again. Frankly, I don't even know where to begin...but if you create an amalgam of all the other 1 and 2 star reviews for this book, you'll get the general idea of which side of the review/debate I'm on. ...more
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heresy, econ

The main thesis of the book is this: “There can be no individual or communal moral purpose without a foundation of divine meaning. There can be no individual capacity or communal capacity without a constant, abiding belief in the nature of our reason. The history of the West is built on the interplay between these two pillars - divine meaning and reason.”

Some who are not religious might dismiss the book entirely and argue that reason alone is sufficient for a good and happy society. To me, wheth
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For those interested in exploring the marriage of Jewish and Greek thought further I would highly recommend the book A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy by Isaac Husik. ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Certainly not what I expected. Love him, hate him or love to hate him, Ben is certainly a figure that regardless where you stand, you have to give him credit, one of the most
nimble people to debate. His quick witted and thoughtful responses are interesting to watch weather you agree or not. This is the Spairo I was expecting to read. Instead I got a decent book about Judeo-Christian society and its norms. Again not what I expected.

I applaud Shapiro on his faith and the decisions he makes regar
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
So I actually read this book through twice because some of the philosophical concepts were too difficult for me to understand with just one run-through. I've said before that Ben's books aren't exactly enjoyable because he covers things that are hard to hear, but it is always enlightening to pick up one of his books. This books steered clear of politics for the most part except inasmuch as political policy was formed by the trending philosophical ideology of the time. It was part an exploration ...more
It just didn’t blow me out of the water. Everything he says is true. But it felt almost too short. Too simple.

Looking at this with my theological cap on, I have two complaints. One, I disagree with his interpretation of the Abraham sacrificing Isaac story. Two, looking at it from a Law & Gospel lens, the whole thing is only law. It’s about constantly striving toward a moral purpose.
Kendall Davis
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shapiro's narrative survey of the history of Western thought is interesting and at points well-done. However I think that his oversimplifications and un-argued assumptions mean that he fails to demonstrate his thesis in the way that he desires.

Shapiro's treatment of "Athens" and "Jerusalem" are at best oversimplifications. In particular, his analysis of the Hebrew Bible and the emergence of Christianity were poor. To argue that Christianity is fundamentally an attempt to marry Greek philosophy
May 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Book for me was a waste of time. Majority plays out like a high school level philosophy course. I don't think his arguments are very solid. Would kind of like my time back I could have been reading something else. ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
I have never heard of this writer prior to this and just happened to pick up this book literally because it was just sitting there.
I don't have any politically correct way to explain my feelings about this book.
It was abhorrent and detestable.
Of course Shapiro (who is apparently somehow relevant enough to have a book and be labelled as a "political commentator") has filled this entire book on how "others" suck and "we" rock. Of course you would think that Ben - the West quite literally DESTROYE
Jun 25, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021nf
Audiobook, Non-fiction, 3.5 stars because it's good but I lost interested half way through and had to go back to it a month later.
This is definitely a political book...History, religion, American politics, Greek philosophy are all themes and topics discussed here.
Shapiro chronicles 'civilization' and how intellectual movements and understanding have influenced the structure of [Western] society and government. This was a great explanation of the evolution of human understanding and the long-rang
J.C. Gallo
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Ben! Very cool.

Another powerful installment from Ben Shapiro! Ignore all the 1-star reviews on Amazon, it's another example of the Left's intolerance. None of them ever read the book, they're just trashing it.

If you care about society and our culture's future (which looks very dark), read this book and educate yourself.
Emily Rooks
Aug 24, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: politics
A half-truth here, a little twist there, a full lie when everyone knows the opposite is true - that's the Ben Shapiro strategy in writing this book (and his tweets/speeches/TV appearances). To his credit, he's amassed great personal wealth doing so. But remember - the wealth has come at the price of damaging our democracy. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Speechless: Controlling Words, Controlling Minds
  • Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation
  • Church of Cowards: A Wake-Up Call to Complacent Christians
  • Don't Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason
  • What Is a Woman?: One Man's Journey to Answer the Question of a Generation
  • Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution
  • Reasons to Vote for Democrats: A Comprehensive Guide
  • Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage
  • 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
  • United States of Socialism: Who's Behind It. Why It's Evil. How to Stop It.
  • Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life
  • Discrimination and Disparities
  • Don't Burn This Country: Surviving and Thriving in Our Woke Dystopia
  • Unfreedom of the Press
  • Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy
  • Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody
  • Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy
  • Black Rednecks and White Liberals
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Benjamin Shapiro was born in 1984 and entered UCLA at the age of 16, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in June 2004 with a BA in Political Science. He graduated Harvard Law School cum laude in June 2007. Shapiro was hired by Creators Syndicate at age 17 to become the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the U.S.

His columns are printed in major newspapers and websites including T

News & Interviews

"Autumn is as joyful and sweet as an untimely end."   This slightly unnerving quote, from the French poet and novelist Rémy de Gourmont, nicely...
46 likes · 6 comments
“a society of essential oils and self-esteem has replaced a society of logic.” 13 likes
“Evil may so shape events that Caesar will occupy a palace and Christ a cross, but that same Christ will rise up and split history into A.D. and B.C., so that even the life of Caesar must be dated by his name. Yes, ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” 10 likes
More quotes…