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God and His Demons Hardcover – March 23, 2010
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"Michael Parenti's God and His Demons is wonderfully irreverent, institutionally challenging, and humanizingly relevant -- a recommended read for believers, agnostics and atheists." --Peter Phillips, professor of pociology, Sonoma State University, editor of Project Censored yearbooks
"God and His Demons picks apart the teachings and practices of organized religions with characteristic wit, humor, and incision: vintage Parenti." --Jacques R. Pauwels, author of The Myth of the Good War and Beneath the Dust of Time.
"Pharisees and charlatans beware. In God and His Demons, veteran scholar Michael Parenti turns pen to sword with acumen and rapier wit; slaying the sacred cows of organized religions. God and His Demons is vintage Parenti. A great book, much needed, which will hopefully be widely read. Parenti defiles the true religious defilers like no one else can -- with stunning underreported facts, a wry smile, and world-class wit." --Mickey Huff, associate professor of history, Diablo Valley College, co-editor of Censored 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
--We are told that "Parenti spares no adjectives in describing the evils of religion." This makes him sound like some kind of name-caller. More than adjectives Parenti gives a deep appraisal of theocratic abuse, past and present.
--The PW critic says the book is an "angry volume" a "condescending tirade" written with "unconcealed scorn and derision." In fact, this book is written in a clear and cool tone, nuanced and precise, though indeed it covers some terrible things that can make anyone angry.
--The PW anonymous critic says the book has no introduction and no conclusion. In fact the book has a well-written and thoughtful introduction and conclusion.
--As part of the critic's name-calling strategy, Parenti is described as little more than a "Berkeley-based . . . activist." Actually Parenti is an internationally acclaimed scholar and award winning author.
--The PW critic speculates that Parenti not only cannot bear religion but human beings in general. But the book offers a humanistic message and takes many compassionate stances against the abuses delivered upon the afflicted, showing a real concern for human beings.
--Not once does the review mention what Parenti is really critiquing; it's not religion as such but oppressive theocracy! And he does it brilliantly. The reader will find this book intriguing and engaging and will be informed by every page of it.
Obviously God and His Demons does not disappoint. It easily holds up Parenti's well earned status as an internationally respected scholar and cultural critic. Using his trademark wit and world renowned research skills he brings it all to the table as he skewers to the third degree the proselytizers, hucksters, hypocrites and religious moneybags who turn the stomachs of those who adhere to principles of rational thought and social justice.
Over the past several years a handful of good books have been published by some decent progressive thinkers that address the religious right and Christian power brokers in a thoughtful and critical manner. Parenti's God and His Demons is now at the top of this list and will very likely remain as a significant work on the topic for generations to come. It's a book that future scholars and curious laymen will brush off in order to get the full picture of just what exactly was going on in the pews, pulpits, televangelist studios and halls of Congress at the turn of the millennium.
First is the shear breath and depth of the subject matter and its management. Parenti walks the reader through important themes in both the Old and New Testaments, elements of the Koran, and Buddhist doctrine, with special attention given to Tibetan Buddhism. Along the way we encounter a panoply of iconic figures such as - to name just a few - Pope John XXIII, John Paul II, Martin Luther, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Archbishop Romero, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, Randal Terry, Mark Foley and the heavy hitters - Jesus, Muhammad, and the Dalai Lama. A host of US presidents make appearances and even such loathsome but religiously inspired characters such as Adolf Hitler, Timothy McVeigh, J. Edgar Hoover, the Hunt brothers and Jim and Tammy Faye find their way into Parenti's tale.
In addition to leading personalities we come to know a divergent range of organizations such as the Catholic Workers, the American Friends Service Committee, Jewish Voice for Peace, Unitarian Universalists, the Church of Scientology, the Mormon Church, the National Association of Evangelicals, Jehovah's Witness - again, to name just a few. The role of the US federal government (the White House, Congress and such agencies as FEMA) does not escape Parenti's critical gaze, nor does the American doctrine of separation of church and state or lack thereof.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What is clear from this book is that the Hebrew god is a jealous god who is to be FEARED. People were content to fear Him in times past, but those times are gone. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Rick Ferraro
I'm halfway through it, but so far it's very banal. I've read better history from people who aren't even historians. Feels like he slammed out a book just to say he did. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Aaron Morgan
Mr. Parenti takes a different approach to a critique of religion compared with other new atheists such as Dawkins and Hitchens. Mr. Read morePublished 15 months ago by T. Kepler
I agree with a lot of what Parenti writes and if you agree with Parenti you will like this book but in a lot of ways it does not make much of a point. Read morePublished 23 months ago by P. Mulloy
Parenti, an objective and scholarly researcher, shows that the faithful are misinterpreting the ideas put forth in Biblical scripture and that it must be read very carefully to... Read morePublished 23 months ago by BookwormX
*I loved Mr. Parenti's book. I've read a number of books on the subject. Always learn something new from each. What is the general populace afraid of? The truth? Read morePublished on January 9, 2014 by Rheta M.