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The Enigma of Anger: Essays on a Sometimes Deadly Sin Paperback – May 10, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0787973100 ISBN-10: 0787973106

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass (May 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787973106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787973100
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"I am a descendant of angry men," Episcopal priest Keizer tells readers at the outset of this wise and beautiful reflection on anger. With that, we are lured into a book that is both intensely personal and achingly universal, for Keizer's confessions of and ruminations about his own anger will strike a chord with many a reader. This memoirish and erudite study is best read as apology in both senses of the word: a request for forgiveness for unwarranted anger and a defense of anger as something that has a legitimate place in the Christian life. Keizer addresses righteous anger at social injustices, domestic anger toward family members, anger within local parishes and anger that defensively masks harder feelings like grief. One of the most original and invigorating chapters tackles gender. Keizer suggests, ingeniously, that one of the reasons men and women deal with anger differently is that "traditional `women's work' serves as an antidote to the forces that make men enraged." The book is deeply Christian, suffused with images of crucifixion, Holy Eucharist and the Sermon on the Mount but it is hardly parochial, and practitioners of other faiths will find capacious truths in Keizer's perfectly particular reflections. The book is distinguished, above all, by its prose. What might have been merely a spiritual "how-to" on anger management is transformed into a literary achievement by Keizer's way with words, from the opening description of a sugar maple tree to the concluding ode to Samuel Johnson.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Episcopal priest and author Keizer examines anger within the church, in the Christian tradition, at home, within a person, and as it is manifested in the world. When is anger good? When is it appropriate? How should we react when it becomes destructive? Keizer seeks not to dispel the need for anger or diminish its often considerable impact. Indeed, as a self-proclaimed "descendant of angry men," he has nothing but contempt for meliorating self-help movements that view life as a series of problems needing to be solved or dismissed out of hand because of their complex, seemingly intractable nature. He believes anger is a natural part of the human condition. If it is used judiciously and fairly, it can serve a purpose and actually be constructive. The wise person, he suggests, knows when to avoid it and when to express it. Given the amount of rage that exists throughout all levels and strata of modern society, The Enigma of Anger couldn't arrive at a better time. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Leroe VINE VOICE on November 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Keizer presents anger as a worldview, as a paradigm, as a not-always bad thing. He deals with both positive and harmful forms of anger, pointing out the appropriate anger of Christ. In fact he insists that he wouldn’t want a Savior who wouldn’t overthrow the moneychangers. That being said, this is not a defense of anger, though not an “all anger is wrong” book either. And it is not an overtly religious book, which means non-Christians need not stay away.

Much has been said about the style of writing. It is philosophical and poetically profound throughout, and I’d think fans of Eugene Peterson would be especially pleased. Wisdom abounds. This is the kind of book you’ll want to read slowly and reflectively. Keep a pen handy to underline and make notes in the margins. Keizer isn’t penning a self-help book here (though one could do worse if looking for a “how to handle my anger” book); he is analyzing anger through many lenses. He examines anger in Scripture, in families, in church, and at the workplace. He will make you think, and at times you’ll disagree, maybe even get angry at him. He can handle it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Garret Keizer is a wonderful writer, whether he's tackling anger, help, teaching or noise. He's intelligent, precise and very very funny, a joy to read. I've given this particular book to three friends who borrowed it and didn't want to give it back. Buy it, read it, loan it, but put your name in it first. And watch for the latest: Privacy.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As beautifully crafted as it is personally moving, Keizer's book touches on themes that are universal in scope but personally affecting in execution. This important book touches on themes that quickly transcend, yet never betray, their parochial frame--a powerful work that moved this agnostic reader.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. D. Hellmann on June 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Garret Keizer is that rare philosopher who couples profound insights into what we are and how we interact with examples from our lives that clarify and convince. He's also very funny and a meticulous writer and grammarian. If you buy this book, you will lend it out over and over until it disappears into someone else's library and you'll have to buy another one.

Read his book Help, if you haven't yet done so. He also writes regularly for Harper's Mgazine.
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0 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Eric Peterson on December 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The condition report made no mention of the sloppy underlining in this book. The outside of the book is clean and in new condition, the inside not so much.
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