Book picks similar to
The Decline and Fall of Civilisations by Kerry Bolton
Zero Hour for Gen X: How the Last Adult Generation Can Save America from Millennials
Matthew Hennessey - 2018
Soon Gen Xers will be the only cohort of Americans who remember life as it was lived before the arrival of the Internet. They are, as Hennessey dubs them, “the last adult generation,” the sole remaining link to a time when childhood was still a bit dangerous but produced adults who were naturally resilient. More than a decade into the social media revolution, the American public is waking up to the idea that the tech sector’s intentions might not be as pure as advertised. The mountains of money being made off our browsing habits and purchase histories are used to fund ever-more extravagant and utopian projects that, by their very natures, will corrode the foundations of free society, leaving us all helpless and digitally enslaved to an elite crew of ultra-sophisticated tech geniuses. But it’s not too late to turn the tide. There’s still time for Gen X to write its own future. A spirited defense of free speech, eye contact, and the virtues of patience, Zero Hour for Gen X is a cultural history of the last 35 years, an analysis of the current social and historical moment, and a generational call to arms.
Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950
Charles Murray - 2004
Human Accomplishment is about those great things, falling in the domains known as the arts and sciences, and the people who did them.'So begins Charles Murray's unique account of human excellence, from the age of Homer to our own time. Employing techniques that historians have developed over the last century but that have rarely been applied to books written for the general public, Murray compiles inventories of the people who have been essential to the stories of literature, music, art, philosophy, and the sciences—a total of 4,002 men and women from around the world, ranked according to their eminence.The heart of Human Accomplishment is a series of enthralling descriptive chapters: on the giants in the arts and what sets them apart from the merely great; on the differences between great achievement in the arts and in the sciences; on the meta-inventions, 14 crucial leaps in human capacity to create great art and science; and on the patterns and trajectories of accomplishment across time and geography.Straightforwardly and undogmatically, Charles Murray takes on some controversial questions. Why has accomplishment been so concentrated in Europe? Among men? Since 1400? He presents evidence that the rate of great accomplishment has been declining in the last century, asks what it means, and offers a rich framework for thinking about the conditions under which the human spirit has expressed itself most gloriously. Eye-opening and humbling, Human Accomplishment is a fascinating work that describes what humans at their best can achieve, provides tools for exploring its wellsprings, and celebrates the continuing common quest of humans everywhere to discover truths, create beauty, and apprehend the good.
White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race
Gloria Wekker - 2016
Accessing a cultural archive built over 400 years of Dutch colonial rule, Wekker fundamentally challenges Dutch racial exceptionalism by undermining the dominant narrative of the Netherlands as a "gentle" and "ethical" nation. Wekker analyzes the Dutch media's portrayal of black women and men, the failure to grasp race in the Dutch academy, contemporary conservative politics (including gay politicians espousing anti-immigrant rhetoric), and the controversy surrounding the folkloric character Black Pete, showing how the denial of racism and the expression of innocence safeguards white privilege. Wekker uncovers the postcolonial legacy of race and its role in shaping the white Dutch self, presenting the contested, persistent legacy of racism in the country.
Shackled: A Journey From Political Imprisonment To Freedom
Adam Siddiq - 2017
Following a grand betrayal, Khaled's father and uncles, the respected right-hand men to the King of Afghanistan, become targets of the new regime. Khaled's father is exiled, his uncles are executed, and their families are locked away in a forgotten corner of Kabul. So begins a decades-long struggle in captivity where Khaled faces the hardship of prison life while enduring tragedies as more of his loved ones are executed and succumb to diseases. Despite the tribulations he experiences, Khaled never gives up hope, choosing to make the most of his time by studying five different languages, advanced literature, and philosophy. Eventually, Khaled and his family are released from prison, but are they truly free? Forbidden from leaving the country, one thing continues to haunt Khaled: a longing to reunite with his father. SHACKLED is a raw, heart-opening story about resilience. It follows the Charkhi family from the 1932 coup to the 1979 Soviet invasion. Amidst national and personal upheaval, Khaled finds his freedom by choosing to lead a life of optimism, kindness, joy, and love. Adam Siddiq is the grandson of Khaled Siddiq. Adam wrote SHACKLED alongside his grandfather, Khaled—a shared journey they hope will inspire others to become more involved in the sacred bond between the youth and their elders.
Clotaire Rapaille - 2013
Si todos debemos movernos para sobrevivir, vale la pena preguntarse: ¿qué factores de nuestro entorno nos impulsan a movernos y cuáles, por el contrario, nos detienen? ¿Por qué algunas personas tienen la oportunidad de moverse hacia donde quieren y otras no? ¿Por qué ciertas sociedades evolucionan y otras no? Para responder a estas interrogantes, los autores del libro estudiaron los códigos culturales y el comportamiento Bio-Lógico de 71 países para desarrollar un índice de que permite medir la movilidad social dentro de estas sociedades.Andrés Roemer y Clotaire Rapaille señalan que las culturas más exitosas son aquellas que han sabido preservar los mejores aspectos de su tradición, al mismo tiempo que han estado dispuestas a innovar y buscar nuevos horizontes. Se trata de sociedades abiertas al cambio y sin temor al statu quo. Otra clave del éxito evolutivo de las sociedades es el equilibrio entre el aspecto biológico (determinado por cuatro factores: supervivencia, sexo, seguridad y superación) y el aspecto cultural. El reto, concluyen los autores, es aprender a armonizar nuestros instintos (nuestro cerebro reptiliano) con nuestras emociones (nuestro cerebro límbico) y nuestra lógica (el neocórtex).ENGLISH DESCRIPTION If we all know we must move to survive, shouldn’t we ask ourselves which factors in our environment propel us and which halt us? Why do certain societies evolve while others don’t? In this book, Andrés Roemer and Clotaire Rapaille point out that the most successful cultures are those that are not afraid of the status quo: they have learned to preserve the best qualities of their traditions while being open to innovation and to uncovering new horizons. Another key to the success of these societies is the equilibrium between biological and the cultural aspects. The challenge is to harmonize our instincts, our emotions, and our logic.
Intellectuals and Race
Thomas Sowell - 2013
The role of intellectuals in racial strife is explored in an international context that puts the American experience in a wholly new light. The views of individual intellectuals have spanned the spectrum, but the views of intellectuals as a whole have tended to cluster. Indeed, these views have clustered at one end of the spectrum in the early twentieth century and then clustered at the opposite end of the spectrum in the late twentieth century. Moreover, these radically different views of race in these two eras were held by intellectuals whose views on other issues were very similar in both eras.Intellectuals and Race is not, however, a book about history, even though it has much historical evidence, as well as demographic, geographic, economic and statistical evidence -- all of it directed toward testing the underlying assumptions about race that have prevailed at times among intellectuals in general, and especially intellectuals at the highest levels. Nor is this simply a theoretical exercise. The impact of intellectuals' ideas and crusades on the larger society, both past and present, is the ultimate concern. These ideas and crusades have ranged widely from racial theories of intelligence to eugenics to "social justice" and multiculturalism. In addition to in-depth examinations of these and other issues, Intellectuals and Race explores the incentives, the visions and the rationales that drive intellectuals at the highest levels to conclusions that have often turned out to be counterproductive and even disastrous, not only for particular racial or ethnic groups, but for societies as a whole.
Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody
Helen Pluckrose - 2020
As Pluckrose and Lindsay warn, the unchecked proliferation of these anti-Enlightenment beliefs present a threat not only to liberal democracy but also to modernity itself. While acknowledging the need to challenge the complacency of those who think a just society has been fully achieved, Pluckrose and Lindsay break down how this often-radical activist scholarship does far more harm than good, not least to those marginalized communities it claims to champion. They also detail its alarmingly inconsistent and illiberal ethics. Only through a proper understanding of the evolution of these ideas, they conclude, can those who value science, reason, and consistently liberal ethics successfully challenge this harmful and authoritarian orthodoxy—in the academy, in culture, and beyond.
Humankind: A Hopeful History
Rutger Bregman - 2019
With Humankind, he brings that mentality to bear against one of our most entrenched ideas: namely, that human beings are by nature selfish and self-interested.By providing a new historical perspective of the last 200,000 years of human history, Bregman sets out to prove that we are in fact evolutionarily wired for cooperation rather than competition, and that our instinct to trust each other has a firm evolutionary basis going back to the beginning of Homo sapiens. Bregman systematically debunks our understanding of the Milgram electrical-shock experiment, the Zimbardo prison experiment, and the Kitty Genovese "bystander effect."In place of these, he offers little-known true stories: the tale of twin brothers on opposing sides of apartheid in South Africa who came together with Nelson Mandela to create peace; a group of six shipwrecked children who survived for a year and a half on a deserted island by working together; a study done after World War II that found that as few as 15% of American soldiers were actually capable of firing at the enemy.The ultimate goal of Humankind is to demonstrate that while neither capitalism nor communism has on its own been proven to be a workable social system, there is a third option: giving "citizens and professionals the means (left) to make their own choices (right)." Reorienting our thinking toward positive and high expectations of our fellow man, Bregman argues, will reap lasting success. Bregman presents this idea with his signature wit and frankness, once again making history, social science and economic theory accessible and enjoyable for lay readers.
The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity
Douglas Murray - 2019
He reveals the astonishing new culture wars playing out in our workplaces, universities, schools and homes in the names of social justice, identity politics and intersectionality.We are living through a postmodern era in which the grand narratives of religion and political ideology have collapsed. In their place have emerged a crusading desire to right perceived wrongs and a weaponization of identity, both accelerated by the new forms of social and news media. Narrow sets of interests now dominate the agenda as society becomes more and more tribal--and, as Murray shows, the casualties are mounting.
How to Argue With a Racist: What Our Genes Do (and Don't) Say About Human Difference
Adam Rutherford - 2020
But its toxic effects on society are plain to see—feeding white nationalism, fueling hatred, endangering lives, and corroding our discourse on everything from sports to intelligence. Even well-intentioned people repeat stereotypes based on “science,” because cutting-edge genetics are hard to grasp—and all too easy to distort. Paradoxically, these misconceptions are multiplying even as scientists make unprecedented discoveries in human genetics—findings that, when accurately understood, are powerful evidence against racism. We’ve never had clearer answers about who we are and where we come from, but this knowledge is sorely needed in our casual conversations about race.How to Argue With a Racist emphatically dismantles outdated notions of race by illuminating what modern genetics actually can and can’t tell us about human difference. We now know that the racial categories still dividing us do not align with observable genetic differences. In fact, our differences are so minute that, most of all, they serve as evidence of our shared humanity.
Fake Science: Exposing the Left's Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data
Austin Ruse - 2017
But the truth is far more sinister, says Austin Ruse. We're actually living in the age of the low information voter, easily mislead by all-too-convincing false statistics and studies. In Fact-Shaming, Ruse debunks so-called "facts" used to advance political causes one after the other, revealing how poorly they stand up to actual science.
Killing Korea: The Fight for Control of Korea
Victor Maere - 2018
You surely have heard something about the Korean War. Or the Forgotten War as some call it. But do you really know all that happened? Have you heard the personal stories from the people who actually saw or did the fighting? If you haven't, you are in for a treat. While the war was among the shortest in history, it left an invisible mark - a divided Korea. And there's a lot that led to that. It wasn't just about the UN and South Korea fighting against North Korea, China, and the Soviet Union. You will: * Learn what UN soldiers did with Chinese corpses when it got cold. * Understand Japan's role in facilitating the war. * Know the real reason China got into the war despite being very scared of America. * Know why America got stung by underequipped and underskilled Chinese fighters * Learn why Truman was saved from impeachment for firing MacAurthor. * Know why America backed an undemocratic South Korean president There is a lot more you will learn in this book. Just click the download button to start reading.
A Short History of Stupid
Bernard Keane - 2014
It certainly drove writers Helen Razer and Bernard Keane to a desperate act: befriending each other for long enough to write a book.Join forces with these uneasy allies to fight against a world that has lost its reason. Explore what's behind the remorseless spread of idiocy, and why there's just so much damn Stupid around you.Stupid isn't just ignorance; it's not just laziness. Worse than the absence of thought, Stupid is a virus that drains our productivity and leaves us sick and diminished. And Stupid has a long, complex and terrible past, one we need to understand in order to defeat it.A Short History of Stupid traces the origins of this maddening ill, examining the different ways in which we've been afflicted over the last three thousand years. It damns those who have spread Stupid and celebrates the brave few who resisted. It shows how Stupid tightens the grubby grip of the foolish around our throats.Hilarious, smart, unpleasant, infuriating and rude, A Short History of Stupid is at once a provocation and a comfort. It will spark debate, soothe the terminally frustrated and outrage the righteously Stupid. It is a book whose Stupid time has come.