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The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America Paperback – June 1, 1983
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“[The Cause of Hitler’s Germany] offers a truly revolutionary idea…The book is clear, tight, disciplined, beautifully structured, and brilliantly reasoned. Its style is clear and hard as crystal––and as sparkling…As to my personal reaction, I can express it best by paraphrasing a line from Atlas Shrugged: ‘It’s so wonderful to see a great, new, crucial achievement which is not mine!’” ––Ayn Rand
“Extraordinarily perceptive…frightening insights…Everyone concerned with the collectivist trend in today’s world should read this book.” ––Alan Greenspan
“A fascinating weave of German history, philosophic determinism, and Objectivist polemic.”
––Chicago Tribune --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book answers those questions, and makes the rise of the Nazis finally intelligible. The cause, Dr. Peikoff demonstrates, lies in certain philosophic ideas--the anti-reason, anti-self, anti-freedom ideas that were already deeply imbued in German culture long before Hitler's rise.
If one were to compile a list of the most fanatically anti-reason philosophers since the Renaissance, almost every top figure--Kant, Hegel, Marx, Schopenhauer, Heidegger--would turn out to be German.
This is not to say that German culture produced evil philosophers. Just the reverse: Germany's evil philosophers produced an evil culture. Men act on their ideas, and ideas originate somewhere. Fundamental ideas, ideas about morality, knowledge, reality, are originated by philosophers. The vast majority of people simply absorb gradually the ideas available to them in their culture. Thus, most people get their life-shaping ideas, indirectly, from the philosophers of their culture (with a time-lag for these ideas to seep down into the educational establishment, the media, the arts, etc.).
Dr. Peikoff's answer to "How could it have happened?" is: "The land of poets and philosophers was brought down by its poets and philosophers."
This book is an impassioned call to jettison the philosophy of obedience, the philosophy of unreason and self-sacrifice, in all its versions lest we follow the German path to destruction.
In regard to the U.S., Dr.Read more ›
"The Ominous Parallels" finally exposes the cause and answer to Fascism. Dr. Peikoff presents a compelling and cogent thesis on the evil of collectivism in terms of the fundamental ideas that shape our history by masterfully analyzing the intellectual and cultural climate that led to the Holocaust and its parallels to today's America. Along the way, he outlines the development of Western philosophy - from the glorious creation of the United States to the rise of skepticism, pragmatism, collectivism, and the Weimar culture. Broad philosophical, political, and cultural trends are analyzed and dissected according to their basic premises, as you will never hear in a history class.
Both those well read in and new to the philosophy of Objectivism will find this book accessible and the arguments reasoned out and supported by numerous examples. This is not light reading, however- I spent as much time pausing to digest and integrate the ideas in this book as I did reading it. Those unfamiliar with Objectivism may have some difficulty connecting the author's asides on abortion, physics, and religion to the central theme, but it does not detract from the overall message.
As Dr Peikoff states, it is impossible to predict the future or know whether the Holocaust will repeat itself - but it is certain that only by understanding and adopting a proper philosophy can America survive as a free country. If this book succeeds in teaching the world about the importance of ideas, then six million shall not have died in vain.
"The Ominous Parallels" is both a warning and an alert. It tells us what we should do to avoid becoming a fascist state. It alerts us to how far down that road we currently are.
Dr. Peikoff's "The Ominous Parallels" is also a rallying point for all of us who care deeply about the future of our country and the freedom of its citizens. It helps us to recognize that "it could happen here" if we do not change our views regarding the proper beneficiary of one's actions.
Over time, there may be minor scholarly clarifications of points in this book, or side notes on other totalitarian societies, thinking of Cambodia or North Korea. Others will try to draw comparisons with non-totalitarian use of concentration camps, and others might try to deny their existence or essence, a hopeless as well as unforgivable evasion. Enjoy the book for what it is--a slap on the side of the head showing that totalitarianism and freedom are driven by ideas, not accidents.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good read, applies today as if Peikoff knew that Obama would come along.Published 3 months ago by Bill Mac
every one should be aware of this it is a must the media won't like but they can stick itPublished 4 months ago by jeff goldberg
A MUST READ FOR ALL TRUE AMERICANS
WE MUST REALIZE THAT THERE IS A PARALLEL
OF WHAT WE ARE DOING IN THIS COUNTRY.
I liked the way the author explained Kantian philosophy and the Hegelian philosophy to explain the Nazi raise to power. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Roberto Rodriguez
It traces the origin of Nazi Germany to rejection of reason, and to an idealistic philosophy of Plato and Kant who say that reality is an illusion, and that individuals must... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Yan Gertsoyg
One of the best books I have read in a long time. The book traces the psychological thinking of the German people leading up to Hitler's Germany, and the thinking that carried... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Thomas Accardi
“You can’t be sure of that. I mean, we really can’t know anything for certain, there’s so many variables and everybody sees things through their own lens. Read morePublished 11 months ago by JD
I sure hope Peikoff is wrong but he certainly does present a well reasoned argument for revitalizing America's culture.Published 12 months ago by Tom C. Veblen