Book picks similar to
Chosen Country by James Pogue
Alpha God: The Psychology of Religious Violence and Oppression
Héctor A. García - 2015
The author, a clinical psychologist, examines religious scriptures, rituals, and canon law, highlighting the many ways in which our evolutionary legacy has shaped the development of religion and continues to profoundly influence its expression. The book focuses on the image of God as the dominant male in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This traditional God concept is seen as a reflection of the “dominant ape” paradigm so evident in the hierarchical social structures of primates, with whom we have a strong genetic connection.The author describes the main features of male-dominated primate social hierarchies— specifically, the role of the alpha male as the protector of the group; his sexual dominance and use of violence and oppression to attain food, females, and territory; in-group altruism vs. out-group hostility (us vs. them); and displays of dominance and submission to establish roles within the social hierarchy. The parallels between these features of primate society and human religious rituals and concepts make it clear that religion, especially its oppressive and violent tendencies, is rooted in the deep evolutionary past.This incisive analysis goes a long way toward explaining the historic and ongoing violence committed in the name of religion.
Travesty in Haiti: A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud, food aid and drug trafficking
Timothy T. Schwartz - 2008
It is a story of failed agricultural, health and credit projects; violent struggles for control over foreign aid; corrupt orphanage owners, pastors, and missionaries; the nepotistic manipulation of research funds; economically counterproductive food aid distribution programs that undermine the Haitian agricultural economy; disastrous social engineering by foreign governments, international financial and development organizations--such as the World Bank and USAID-- and the multinational corporate charities that have sprung up in their service, CARE International, Catholic Relief Services, World Vision, and the dozens of other massive charities that have programs spread across the globe, moving in response not only to disasters and need, but political agendas and economic opportunity. TRAVESTY also chronicles the lives of Haitians and describes how political disillusionment sometimes ignites explosive mob rage among peasants frustrated with the foreign aid organizations, governments and international agencies that fund them. TRAVESTY recounts how some Haitians use whatever means possible try to better their living standards, most recently drug trafficking, and in doing so explains why at the service of international narcotraffickers and Haitian money laundering elites, Haiti has become a failed State. TRAVESTY reads like a novel. It takes the reader from the bowels of foreign aid in the field; to the posh and orderly urban headquarters of charities such as CARE International; to the cold, distant heights of Capitol Hill policy planners. The journey is marked by true accounts involving violence, corruption, appalling greed, sexual exploitation, disastrous social engineering, and the inside world of drug traffickers. But TRAVESTY it is not a novel. It is founded on 15 years of academic and field experience, research, and hard data. It entertains the reader with vivid first hand accounts while treating seriously the problems inherent not only in international aid, but the sabotaging effects of the drug war on economic development in remote and impoverished areas of the hemisphere.
The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia
James C. Scott - 1976
Scott places the critical problem of the peasant household—subsistence—at the center of this study. The fear of food shortages, he argues persuasively, explains many otherwise puzzling technical, social, and moral arrangements in peasant society, such as resistance to innovation, the desire to own land even at some cost in terms of income, relationships with other people, and relationships with institutions, including the state.Once the centrality of the subsistence problem is recognized, its effects on notions of economic and political justice can also be seen. Scott draws from the history of agrarian society in lower Burma and Vietnam to show how the transformations of the colonial era systematically violated the peasants’ “moral economy” and created a situation of potential rebellion and revolution.Demonstrating keen insights into the behavior of people in other cultures and a rare ability to generalize soundly from case studies, Scott offers a different perspective on peasant behavior that will be of interest particularly to political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, and Southeast Asianists.“The book is extraordinarily original and valuable and will have a very broad appeal. I think the central thesis is correct and compelling.”—Clifford Geertz “In this major work, … Scott views peasants as political and moral actors defending their values as well as their individual security, making his book vital to an understanding of peasant politics.”—Library Journal
Death Penalty: An American History (Revised)
Stuart Banner - 2002
Some view taking another person's life as just and reasonable punishment while others see it as an inhumane and barbaric act. But the intensity of feeling that capital punishment provokes often obscures its long and varied history in this country.Now, for the first time, we have a comprehensive history of the death penalty in the United States. Law professor Stuart Banner tells the story of how, over four centuries, dramatic changes have taken place in the ways capital punishment has been administered and experienced. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the penalty was standard for a laundry list of crimes--from adultery to murder, from arson to stealing horses. Hangings were public events, staged before audiences numbering in the thousands, attended by women and men, young and old, black and white alike. Early on, the gruesome spectacle had explicitly religious purposes--an event replete with sermons, confessions, and last minute penitence--to promote the salvation of both the condemned and the crowd. Through the nineteenth century, the execution became desacralized, increasingly secular and private, in response to changing mores. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, ironically, as it has become a quiet, sanitary, technological procedure, the death penalty is as divisive as ever.By recreating what it was like to be the condemned, the executioner, and the spectator, Banner moves beyond the debates, to give us an unprecedented understanding of capital punishment's many meanings. As nearly four thousand inmates are now on death row, and almost one hundred are currently being executed each year, the furious debate is unlikely to diminish. The Death Penalty is invaluable in understanding the American way of the ultimate punishment.
India Moving: A History of Migration
Chinmay Tumbe - 2018
To understand how millions of people have moved-from, to and within India-the book embarks on a journey laced with evidence, argument and wit, providing insights into topics like the slave trade and migration of workers, travelling business communities such as the Marwaris, Gujaratis and Chettiars, refugee crises and the roots of contemporary mass migration from Bihar and Kerala, covering terrain that often includes diverse items such as mangoes, dosas and pressure cookers.India Moving shows the scale and variety of Indian migration and argues that greater mobility is a prerequisite for maintaining the country's pluralistic traditions.
The Foundations of Eastern Civilization
Craig G. Benjamin - 2013
Professor Craig G. Benjamin of Grand Valley State University introduces you to the many people, achievements, and ideas that came out of Eastern civilization and played a role in creating the modern world.more info: http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/co...
A Predator Priest
David Margolick - 2011
This is the story about Father Bernard Bissonnette, a priest from Grosvenordale, Connecticut and the fifty-year path of destruction and heartache he left in his wake. There were dozens of victims, first in his home state and then in New Mexico, where the Catholic Church sent him to be “cured,” only to recycle him in parishes throughout the state. It highlights the Deary family of Putnam, Connecticut, whose eldest son, Tommy – the second of their thirteen children – was one of Bissonnette’s earliest victims, and who, after struggling for many years with depression, marital problems, and his own sexual identity, eventually killed himself. And it follows the tireless efforts of his youngest brother to overcome the obstructionism and hostility of the Catholic Church and track down Father Bissonnette, confront him with his misdeeds, then bring him to justice – or at least get him thrown out of the Church.
My Life With the Eskimo
Vilhjálmur Stefánsson - 1913
For the next two years he made his way northwards to Victoria Island to study an isolated group of Inuit who still used primitive tools and had strong Caucasian features, and whom some believed were descended from Vikings. The journey into these remote areas was incredibly tough and being delayed by blizzards Stefánsson, along with his companions, were forced to eat the tongue of a beached whale that had been dead for at least four years. Stefánsson, who learnt how to communicate with the Inuit, provides fascinating insight into the beliefs and every day life of these people. “the book is full of psychologic and human interest, and of clear-cut observation of many different kinds.” The North American Review “This book contains a wealth of ethnological and biological information … this is a valuable contribution to the scientific study of the Eskimos, by one who knows them thoroughly.” The Literary Digest “It is impossible to analyze with certainty the amalgam of motives underlying the ceaseless movement of northern exploration, but the lure of the difficult and the dangerous can hardly be less active than the desire to enlarge bounds of human knowledge.” The Nation This book is essential reading for anyone interested in this remarkable expedition and for people who want to find out more about life of people in the far north prior to the advent of modern technology. Vilhjálmur Stefánsson was a Canadian Artic explorer and ethnologist. Under the auspices of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, he and Dr. R. M. Anderson undertook the ethnological survey of the Central Arctic coasts of the shores of North America from 1908 to 1912. The results of this expedition were My Life with the Eskimo first published in 1913. Stefánsson passed away in 1962.
Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture
Herbert Schlossberg - 1983
Idols sits on that shelf, for Herb's lucid critique has been an invaluable reference for my own writings. It helps believers to understand the ideologies that undergird secular culture, and how they dramatically--and dangerously--differ from the Judeo-Christian view based on adherence to absolute truth. --Charles Colson, Prison FellowshipWell-written and highly readable... discerning and critical analysis of our times; a stimulating contribution. --Carl F. H. HenryThis book has become a vade mecum for thousands of Christians who understand the cultural disaster of our time and are determined to do something about it. --Richard John Neuhaus, Editor-in-chief, First ThingsNow that Francis Schaeffer is no longer with us, Schlossberg is just about the most provocative Christian thinker around. --Harold O. J. Brown, Professor of Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity SchoolYears before anyone talked about an American 'culture war, ' Herb Schlossberg penned an acute description of the crisis of virtue that is the domestic issue of the 1990s. His diagnosis remains essential reading for everyone who believes that self-governing republic requires self-governing and morally serious citizens. --George Weigel, President, Ethics and Public Policy CenterThorough, provocative and especially penetrating. If you want to think Christianly about culture Idols for Destruction is must reading! --John H. White, President, Geneva College
The Price of Prosperity: Why Rich Nations Fail and How to Renew Them
Todd G. Buchholz - 2016
W. Bush explores exposes the economic, political, and cultural cracks that wealthy nations face and makes the case for transforming those same vulnerabilities into sources of strength—and the foundation of a national renewal.America and other developed countries, including Germany, Japan, France, and Great Britain are in desperate straits. The loss of community, a contracting jobs market, immigration fears, rising globalization, and poisonous partisanship—the adverse price of unprecedented prosperity—are pushing these nations to the brink. Acclaimed author, economist, hedge fund manager, and presidential advisor Todd G. Buchholz argues that without a sense of common purpose and shared identity, nations can collapse. The signs are everywhere: Reckless financial markets encourage people to gamble with other people’s money. A coddling educational culture removes the stigma of underachievement. Community traditions such as American Legion cookouts and patriotic parades are derided as corny or jingoistic. Newcomers are watched with suspicion and contempt. As Buchholz makes clear, the United States is not the first country to suffer these fissures. In The Price of Prosperity he examines the fates of previous empires—those that have fallen as well as those extricated from near-collapse and the ruins of war thanks to the vision and efforts of strong leaders. He then identifies what great leaders do to fend off the forces that tear nations apart. Is the loss of empire inevitable? No. Can a community spirit be restored in the U.S. and in Europe? The answer is a resounding yes. We cannot retrieve the jobs of our grandparents, but we can embrace uniquely American traditions, while building new foundations for growth and change. Buchholz offers a roadmap to recovery, and calls for a revival of national pride and patriotism to help us come together once again to protect the nation and ensure our future.
Londongrad - From Russia with Cash: The Inside Story of the Oligarchs
Mark Hollingsworth - 2009
A dazzling tale of incredible wealth, ferocious disputes, beautiful women, private jets, mega-yachts, the world’s best footballers – and chauffeur-driven Range Rovers with tinted windows.A group of buccaneering Russian oligarchs made colossal fortunes after the collapse of communism – and many of them came to London to enjoy their new-found wealth. Londongrad tells for the first time the true story of their journeys from Moscow and St Petersburg to mansions in Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Surrey – and takes you into a shimmering world of audacious multi-billion pound deals, outrageous spending and rancorous feuds.But while London's flashiest restaurants echoed to Russian laughter and Bond Street shop-owners totted up their profits, darker events also played themselves out. The killing of ex-KGB man Alexander Litvinenko in London to the death – in a helicopter crash he all but predicted – of Stephen Curtis, the lawyer to many of Britain's richest Russians, chilled London's Russians and many of those who know them.This is the story of how Russia's wealth was harvested and brought to London – some of it spent by Roman Abramovich on his beloved Chelsea Football Club, some of it spent by Boris Berezovsky in his battles with Russia's all-powerful Vladimir Putin. Londongrad is a must-read for anyone interested in how vast wealth is created, the luxury it can buy and the power and intrigue it produces.