book reviews

Social Equality – seeing it through Paul’s letter to a friend

Like many, I watched the recent anti-racial protests with consternation. My empathy mingles with dubiety. Although America (indeed, the world) is mired in a history of social injustice, freedom and equality have always been our bragging rights. And yet freedom and equality constrict the other. Aristotle says that our nature makes us unequal. Our individuality...

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The Second Mountain by David Brooks

Somewhere in his 50’s, David Brooks, author and social commentator, suffered an existential crisis. He and his wife of 29 years got divorced. In a midst of soul searching in profound loneliness, Brooks wrote two books, “The Road to Character” in 2015 (see review in my website) and “The Second Mountain” in 2019. Between these...

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12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

Intermittently, Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist, in “12 Rules For Life,” warns that life is hard and suffering, and that humanity is in existential chaos. We are broken, flawed and prone to do bad things, not only to others but to ourselves. Responding to a newspaper query: what’s wrong with the world today, G.K. Chesterton...

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What the Qur’an Meant by Garry Wills

Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, Islam, as religion, culture and geo-politics, enters our public discourses and barges in perfervid sentiments. Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning” poignantly corrals our visceral reactions. We sought answers to questions we didn’t know how to ask. For a short time, there was a spike...

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Before You Know It, by John Bargh

Martin Gross’s “The Psychological Society” excoriated the dominance of psychology in contemporary society. He let on that Freud’s notion of the unconscious has abnegated our conscientious responsibility. For millenniums, we thought being humans was unique. We were the center of the universe. Unlike other life forms, our conscious mind uniquely grants us freedom to make...

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