- Hardcover: 233 pages
- Publisher: Prometheus Books (March 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0879755784
- ISBN-13: 978-0879755782
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,089,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious Murder and Madness Hardcover – March, 1990
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Top Customer Reviews
As I was reading the book, I felt as though I was reading a student's term paper. The author covers numerous religious groups or time periods but in a very superficial manner. As a couple of reviewers already mentioned, the book is only 234 pages (243 with the biblio), 24 of those are full page illustrations (I know, the cover states "An Illustrated History") and the pages have unusually wide margins. In fact, the size of the margins was the first thing I noticed when I started to read the book. It's almost as though Haught didn't have enough material to fill enough pages to warrant publication. But even from what material is in the book, it is obvious that this book could have much longer and more detailed, giving it a more scholarly presentation.
Personally, I think that if an author is going to write about a controversial subject, it needs to be backed up with properly referenced facts. This book does not even come close. There is a section at the end of the book that the author calls a Bibliography but then he writes, "The following is a selected reading list, by topic." So does that mean that the books listed were used by the author as references or are some of these books just recommendations? It is rather difficult to tell because Haught uses no footnote notation. He repeatedly presents statements as fact, including historical information and figures (as in the number of deaths). He also has many direct quotes that have no reference. For example, the cover of the book highlights one corner and states, "Includes the 9-11-01 terrorist attack...Read more ›
It is important these days to be familiar with the fact that Christianity, known as a religion of few gods and great violence, leads all the religions in the numbers of deaths it has caused. For almost 20 centuries, murder and torture was an official instrument of policy of the Catholic Church. Atrocities committed on behalf of religion were a main cause of the Protestant Reformation and the furious wars that followed resulting in the deaths of millions in Europe.
It is difficult to understand the strong attitudes of our founding fathers about the need to control religion and keep it separate from state power without being familiar with the history reviewed in this book.
If I have any fault with this book is that it ignores the violence perpetrated by Christians before the Crusades and even before Constantine. From the beginning, Christian leaders used violence as an instrument of policy. Early bishops often sent mobs of monks and thugs out to murder their rivals. St. Augustine sanctioned the use of force to bring pagans into the Church. He preached to landowners, telling them to hunt down the servants on their land and kill them if they did not submit to baptism. Historians have documented the effects of these practices, which culminated in the 6th-century order by Justinian that made pagan religion a capital offense. No one knows how many were put to death. For several centuries, the church was bent on destroying every vestige of pagan temples, books, libraries, schools, sanctuaries, and philosophy. As a result the teachings of the great scholars such as Plato and Aristotle were lost to the West until the 15th century.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Churchies" hate ths book! Shows what religion and many its believers have done to mankind. Even today these hypocrites judge, condemn and kill from all religious beliefs. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ed Deppe
I wasn't a religious man before I read Holy Horrors.
I never became religious reading it. Read more
...I was a little disappointed to receive a rather slim book (234 pages), when Amazon described it as being 661 pages. Read morePublished on April 22, 2005 by TLR
Very well written. Direct and to the point. Shows how religious beliefs are used as acts of violence against others of different faiths. Great read for the beginner or novice.Published on January 24, 2004
I think this book is one of the best books I have ever read. If only humans like James Haught were rewarded with millions of dollars to tell these stories on video and share these... Read morePublished on September 30, 2001 by Ted Huntington
The book is an easy reader (with wide margins) and gives a good start on the topic. However, when I read the section on the Holocaust and the authors effort to isolate the event... Read morePublished on January 18, 2001