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A Cynic Looks at Life Hardcover – January 1, 2007
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On Civilization - the general theme of this work implies that England (and Europe in general) is more intelligent and moral than the United States. The latter having adopted the system they were trying to escape but infusing it with the freedom of a variety of `culture' has essentially created only a `competent fool`. Civilization is good only to promote knowledge and increase one's happiness, for happiness is the be-all end-all in our naturally selfish egotism. This section also seems to have a eugenics type lean to it - "If you confess the importance of race and pedigree in a horse and a dog how dare you deny it in a man?" He also speaks of our proclivity for war-mongering.
The Gift O'Gab - An argument against those that use lots of fancy, empty words.
Natura Benigna - A detailing of how people persist to live in places horribly stricken by deadly natural phenomena. Bierce believes people live here because they have no choice - in the end something will get you.
The Death Penalty - Maybe the best argument in this short book. Basically Bierce states how the penal system is often times better than the outside (comfort, amenities, privaleges, etc.Read more ›