“David Livingstone Smith produces a clear and illuminating vision of why human beings are the way we are and how we got this way. The scholarship is broad, the insight is deep and the prose is compelling. Less Than Human will change the way you think about things that matter profoundly. This is dazzling stuff.”-- Steven E. Landsburg, Ph.D., author of The Big Questions
“Warning: This book will challenge you! Not that it’s hard to understand -- in fact, it's wonderfully accessible -- but it raises some terrible realities. For this reason, it is all the more important that you read Less that Human. It is brilliantly written, carefully researched, and a wonderful and much-needed opportunity for us to explore what it might mean to be ‘truly human’.” -- David P. Barash, author of Payback: Why We Retaliate, Seek Revenge and Redirect Our Aggression
"This is a beautiful book on an ugly topic. David Livingstone Smith uses the newest research in cognitive science to address the problems of racism, genocide, and atrocity, presenting a provocative theory as to why we come to see others as less than human. There are deep and important ideas here, and this engaging book should be read by anyone interested in the worst aspects of human nature -- and how we can come to transcend them." -- Paul Bloom, author of How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like and professor of psychology, Yale University
“One part detective story, one part horror story, one part evolutionary philosophy, Less Than Human is actually a book about what it means to be human. As such, there are few of us who can afford to miss it.”--Peter Swirski,Ph.D., author of American Utopia and Social Engineering in Literature, Social Thought, and Political History, Professor of American literature and culture at the Department of English, University of Missouri, and Research Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
"Dehumanization is a thoroughly human behavior. It is a tool we have used for millennia to bolster our self-esteem, to justify slavery and exploitation, to get ourselves to kill and exterminate. Yet, despite its terrible significance, surprisingly little scholarly attention has been trained on the phenomenon -- on its origins, how it works, and how we might avoid its dreadful toll. Bringing enviably acute skills as a philosopher to bear on the subject, David Livingstone Smith draws on an impressive range of sources to argue that dehumanization emerges from the very core of our humanity, our ability to reflect upon our own thoughts. Writing in an engaging and accessible style, he uses an incisive logic to pare away the layers of his subject to reveal this troubling conclusion. This is an important book for anthropologists, who are interested in ethnocentrism, and for any human concerned about our capacity to harm one another."--Paul Roscoe, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, University of Maine.
I found it hard to put this book down.
In conclusion, Professor Smith certainly knows the material very well, and the book stays extremely focused on explaining what dehumanization means.
Very well-written showing the commonalities between genocide in many countries and how language is used to dehumanize.
Very well-written showing the commonalities between genocide in many countries and how language is used to dehumanize.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a most important and well-written book. Although disturbing in its content, it is vital that the message is heard widely. I found it hard to put this book down. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Frederick M. Toates
I found this book somewhat tedious for much of the first half. I know Smith was trying to establish the various universal patterns that fall under the concept of dehumanization,... Read morePublished 12 months ago by S. Dunne
Dr. Smith provides prodigious examples of dehumanization. On page twenty he quotes from Army specialist Matthew Wilson's testimony regarding Abu Ghraib:
I saw two naked... Read more
"The distinction between essence and appearance isn't just an academic matter" (Smith,P.33). Smith shows us, in startling detail, why dehumanizing influences and strategies truly... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Phyllis Antebi Ph.D
very graphic; which is needed. unlike todays media it is not running away from the truth. I would recommend it.Published 20 months ago by Elvir
"Less Than Human" is written in a lucid & compelling style. Author David Livingstone Smith has backed up his conclusions with thorough annotations. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Lucien F Brancaccio
I'm a really lazy reader but this is a truly unique book that I'm enjoying thus far, I've never hear of anyone even thinking about what this book goes into and he backs it all up... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Tristan
This is a very insightful book. I applaud the author for his thorough research and presentation of facts and examples taken from history as well as recent events. Read morePublished 21 months ago by A. Carter