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I have read and reviewed all of Jacqueline Homan's books, and this fourth from social muckraker Homan is her most professional and highly developed, if not her most exciting. She is unquestionably the most improved author I have reviewed at PODBRAM, my book review blog, over the past four years.
Ms. Homan speaks in the sort of powerful, literary, compassionate voice that our current left wing political pundits and commentators so desperately lack. If you are at all squeamish about anyone questioning right wing religious politics, Divine Right will make you throw a tantrum fit for a three-year-old. On the other hand, if you have felt like you have been drowning in moronic, religious fascism since The Reagan Years, you will squeal with delight as the author skewers the holier than thou crowd!
Jacqueline is a raging feminist, rightfully so, and I do not begrudge her this choice. You might be surprised to know that I am a white male raised as a Southern Baptist, and Jacqueline speaks the truth to power better than any author I have read, or at least within such an entertaining and thought-provoking manner. Her stabs at misogyny in a male dominated religious culture are right on the money, even if a bit over the top in their irreverence quotient! She will certainly make you laugh out loud with some of her phrasings, although in general, Divine Right is not a humorous book.
The weakest element of Divine Right is the extensive detailing of religious issues and history from the earliest period, as in the B.C. time frame. The author provides far more historical detail in this regard than I care to know. This makes Divine Right compete with Jacqueline's Eyes of a Monster as her most riveting book. My eyes sort of glazed over from all the deep religious history. On the other hand, when she goes after the modern social and economic disasters that have been spawned by our current religious climate, Ms. Homan is dead on target!
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Jacqueline Homan constructs a picture of our current patriarchal, hierarchical Western societies (particularly the U.S., with its almost medieval religiosity) as being directly descended from the pre-Christian European patriarchal societies of Greece, Troy, and Rome. Though many of her most explosive factual contentions could use some source citations, her conclusions are iron-clad. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a no-holds-barred perspective on how misogyny and patriarchy persist so doggedly in our supposedly modern, post-Enlightenment era.
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If you don't laugh you'll have to cry at the complete lack of scholarly integrity in this book. The author makes a forceful argument for why theism is the root of all racism and sexism in the world, unfortunately the argument is entirely make believe. It would take another book altogther to document and correct all of the errors in just the first two chapters, which is as far as this reader had the stomach to go! I did check the beginning of the third chapter to see if Ms. Homan gave up the punch line, but alas she was serious.
The description of the book alone is enough to make one laugh. Homan speaks of those who are ancestors of Abrahamic faith as believing in an angry white male deity. I am sure that the over 1 billion Muslims of the world, mostly Arabs and Africans, would be seriously offended by someone calling their God an angry white male.
Even an amateur anti-religious bible hater who does the slightest bit of homework would be aware that the New Testament wasn't written by "several Roman scribes, including the Roman Jew Josephus." Over 50% of the books of the NT were written by Saul (Paul), the student of Gameliel the greatest rabbi in Judaism. Scholarly consesus (among both theists and atheists) shows that Josephus wrote exactly 0% of the Bible. For the sake of brevity this is the only example I will use.
If you aren't well educated in religious history or theological systems and you want a book that will lie to you without clearly citing original documents, this is the book for you! If you are well versed in such things, and you want a few laughs while obtaining evidence that anyone who is literate can write a book on anything they choose, read this book!Read more ›
Jacqueline S. Homan (1967 - ) was born in Philadelphia, PA into chronic, generational poverty. Orphaned and homeless at 13, she struggled to survive in America's permanent underclass. She graduated from college with a Bachelor's degree in mathematics as a non-traditional aged student at the age of 34 -- the very first in her family to graduate from high school and college. Her speaking engagements include the October 2009 international human rights conference in London, UK.
Her first book, Classism For Dimwits, is a social and political critique that shatters the myth of the American Dream and exposes America's ugliest secret: Middle and upper class American's cruelty towards (and utter hatred for) the poorest of the poor in America who can't just "bootstrap" their way onto the lowest rung of middle classdom without a real safety net.
After Classism For Dimwits, she authored and published three more nonfiction books centering on contemporary social justice issues: Eyes of a Monster, Nothing You Can Possess, and her most recent and most provocative, Divine Right: The Truth is a Lie.
She is also involved with CAUS (Citizens Against Utility Shut-offs) and various other poor people's human rights campaigns.