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The Pillar of Fire by Karl Stern by Karl Stern
The Pillar of Fire by Karl Stern by Karl Stern
by Karl Stern
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
8 used & new from $24.95

5.0 out of 5 stars THE RELIGIOUS JOURNEY FROM JUDAISM TO CATHOLICISM OF THE FAMED NEUROPATHOLOGIST, April 11, 2014
Karl Stern (1906-1975) was a German-Canadian neurologist and psychiatrist, who emigrated from Nazi Germany to England in 1936, becoming a neuropathologist at the Montreal Neurological Institute, under Wilder Penfield. [NOTE: page numbers below refer to the 310-page hardcover edition.]

He wrote in the Foreword to this 1951 book, "To write the story of a conversion is a foolish undertaking for the convert, the 'turned-around,' is a fool. He is a fool in the sense in which Saint Paul uses this word... All true love is subjective and unique... There is something about falling in love which cannot be re-experienced by the outsider; it is something lonely... Seen 'from outside' a conversion is something adventurous and anarchic... If there are certainties, one must be able to find them. That one simple question, whether Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate, becomes increasingly decisive between people... What if all that is folly in the eyes of the Greeks, and scandal in the eyes of the Jews, is Truth?" (Pg. 3-4)

Of his childhood days, he recalls, "The people of my parents' generation were almost entirely cut off from Jewish tradition. They hardly understood Hebrew, and therefore were unable to follow the liturgy... I know that my mother was deeply familiar with the pathos of solitude, of suffering and of self-denial, but she was too restrained with herself and with us to ever use such words... It was part of her tolerant eclecticism that she helped with the preparations for all the beautiful religious ceremonies in the house. She enjoyed getting ready for a Friday evening Seder table but she liked equally decorating the Christmas tree for the maids and children. Christmas was always celebrated because Mother was afraid lest it cause me anguish if all my friends in the neighborhood enjoyed a feast full of joy and light while we were sitting in a dark weekday room." (Pg. 16-17)

After he had entered his profession, "I was the only Jewish physician of my age in a non-Jewish institution in all of Germany who was not affected by the 'Aryan' laws. This was due to the fact that ... I was holding a position under the Rockefeller Foundation... I took part in the activities of the Zionist groups... Nevertheless... pure Zionism ... left me dissatisfied and with the definite sense of a void... Perhaps even then I felt at the bottom of my heart that a mere withdrawal into a national culture was not a solution for the Jews, and what we needed in the end was a universal solution, a solution which was equally applicable and equally binding on those poor devils around us who persecuted us." (Pg. 158-159)

He states, "the drama in history which I have witnessed myself, the fate of European Jewry, was either meaningless, or else its meaning was transcendental. There is no other alternative. Now if you believe in the existence of God the first possibility is excluded, and that agony of horror which we witnessed in our time must have a meaning which transcends all materialist dialectics. Since I believed in the existence of God, the answer was obvious." (Pg. 163)

While he was listening to a Cardinal's sermon in 1933 which asserted the Jewishness of Jesus and the unity of Christianity and Judaism, "I suddenly realized for the first time in my life that things were not as static as all that. Did not the Prophets imply that through the Messiah the Word was to be carried to the 'farthest islands'? ... Contemplate for a moment that there had once been a tiny people at the periphery of the Roman Empire, submerged within an ocean of a thousand creeds, which jealously guarded the precious treasure of Revelation within the walls of its Bity---and here I standing two millenniums later and listening to those who did not belong to Israel in the flesh but defended the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of Moses, Isaiah and Job as if their own lives were at stake. My first claim, my proud assertion... namely that the election was 'ours'---suddenly seemed to be taken away from me." (Pg. 171-172)

He recalls, "I went to see Martin Buber about my increasing spiritual difficulties. I told him that I had been studying the Epistles of Saint John, and I found there the spirit of Judaism expressed with such purity and in such overwhelming intensity that I could not understand why we did not accept the New Testament... To this he replied that it was true that the Epistles of Saint John were Judaism at its highest, and that he could well understand my enthusiasm. 'However,' he said, 'if you want to accept Christ and the New Testament, the maxims of the Epistles are not enough. You must also believe in the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Christ from the dead.' These things are hard to believe, he said." (Pg. 177)

Later, I made the acquaintance of two people who had a decisive influence on our further development, Jacques Maritain and Dorothy Day... For a long time I had wanted to meet Maritain... I thought that if there was one man in the Church who would have an answer to many of my questions, he was the man. Nobody in the Church seemed to have had a more profound understanding of the Jewish problem... I told him about my spiritual experiences in London, and that I often believed that my conversion was nothing but a mirage produced by an unconscious desire to escape the destiny of a Jew. He implored me not to allow the precious fruit of my spiritual experiences to be corroded by psychological self-analysis, to believe in the goodness of these insights..." (Pg. 251)

This is one of the most famous religious autobiographies of the 20th century, and will be of great interest to those interested in such accounts.


The Pillar of Fire
The Pillar of Fire
by Karl Stern
Edition: Hardcover
9 used & new from $35.00

5.0 out of 5 stars THE RELIGIOUS JOURNEY FROM JUDAISM TO CATHOLICISM OF THE FAMED NEUROPATHOLOGIST, April 11, 2014
This review is from: The Pillar of Fire (Hardcover)
Karl Stern (1906-1975) was a German-Canadian neurologist and psychiatrist, who emigrated from Nazi Germany to England in 1936, becoming a neuropathologist at the Montreal Neurological Institute, under Wilder Penfield.

He wrote in the Foreword to this 1951 book, "To write the story of a conversion is a foolish undertaking for the convert, the 'turned-around,' is a fool. He is a fool in the sense in which Saint Paul uses this word... All true love is subjective and unique... There is something about falling in love which cannot be re-experienced by the outsider; it is something lonely... Seen 'from outside' a conversion is something adventurous and anarchic... If there are certainties, one must be able to find them. That one simple question, whether Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate, becomes increasingly decisive between people... What if all that is folly in the eyes of the Greeks, and scandal in the eyes of the Jews, is Truth?" (Pg. 3-4)

Of his childhood days, he recalls, "The people of my parents' generation were almost entirely cut off from Jewish tradition. They hardly understood Hebrew, and therefore were unable to follow the liturgy... I know that my mother was deeply familiar with the pathos of solitude, of suffering and of self-denial, but she was too restrained with herself and with us to ever use such words... It was part of her tolerant eclecticism that she helped with the preparations for all the beautiful religious ceremonies in the house. She enjoyed getting ready for a Friday evening Seder table but she liked equally decorating the Christmas tree for the maids and children. Christmas was always celebrated because Mother was afraid lest it cause me anguish if all my friends in the neighborhood enjoyed a feast full of joy and light while we were sitting in a dark weekday room." (Pg. 16-17)

After he had entered his profession, "I was the only Jewish physician of my age in a non-Jewish institution in all of Germany who was not affected by the 'Aryan' laws. This was due to the fact that ... I was holding a position under the Rockefeller Foundation... I took part in the activities of the Zionist groups... Nevertheless... pure Zionism ... left me dissatisfied and with the definite sense of a void... Perhaps even then I felt at the bottom of my heart that a mere withdrawal into a national culture was not a solution for the Jews, and what we needed in the end was a universal solution, a solution which was equally applicable and equally binding on those poor devils around us who persecuted us." (Pg. 158-159)

He states, "the drama in history which I have witnessed myself, the fate of European Jewry, was either meaningless, or else its meaning was transcendental. There is no other alternative. Now if you believe in the existence of God the first possibility is excluded, and that agony of horror which we witnessed in our time must have a meaning which transcends all materialist dialectics. Since I believed in the existence of God, the answer was obvious." (Pg. 163)

While he was listening to a Cardinal's sermon in 1933 which asserted the Jewishness of Jesus and the unity of Christianity and Judaism, "I suddenly realized for the first time in my life that things were not as static as all that. Did not the Prophets imply that through the Messiah the Word was to be carried to the 'farthest islands'? ... Contemplate for a moment that there had once been a tiny people at the periphery of the Roman Empire, submerged within an ocean of a thousand creeds, which jealously guarded the precious treasure of Revelation within the walls of its Bity---and here I standing two millenniums later and listening to those who did not belong to Israel in the flesh but defended the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of Moses, Isaiah and Job as if their own lives were at stake. My first claim, my proud assertion... namely that the election was 'ours'---suddenly seemed to be taken away from me." (Pg. 171-172)

He recalls, "I went to see Martin Buber about my increasing spiritual difficulties. I told him that I had been studying the Epistles of Saint John, and I found there the spirit of Judaism expressed with such purity and in such overwhelming intensity that I could not understand why we did not accept the New Testament... To this he replied that it was true that the Epistles of Saint John were Judaism at its highest, and that he could well understand my enthusiasm. 'However,' he said, 'if you want to accept Christ and the New Testament, the maxims of the Epistles are not enough. You must also believe in the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Christ from the dead.' These things are hard to believe, he said." (Pg. 177)

Later, I made the acquaintance of two people who had a decisive influence on our further development, Jacques Maritain and Dorothy Day... For a long time I had wanted to meet Maritain... I thought that if there was one man in the Church who would have an answer to many of my questions, he was the man. Nobody in the Church seemed to have had a more profound understanding of the Jewish problem... I told him about my spiritual experiences in London, and that I often believed that my conversion was nothing but a mirage produced by an unconscious desire to escape the destiny of a Jew. He implored me not to allow the precious fruit of my spiritual experiences to be corroded by psychological self-analysis, to believe in the goodness of these insights..." (Pg. 251)

This is one of the most famous religious autobiographies of the 20th century, and will be of great interest to those interested in such accounts.


Why I Became Catholic Autobiographical Reflections by Eugenio Zolli
Why I Became Catholic Autobiographical Reflections by Eugenio Zolli
by Eugenio Zolli
Edition: Hardcover
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE FAMOUS CONVERSION OF THE CHIEF RABBI OF ROME DURING WWII, April 11, 2014
Israel Zolli (1881-1956) was from 1939 to 1945 Chief Rabbi of Rome. After the war, he converted to Roman Catholicism, taking the name Eugenio in honor of Pope Pius XII. He said in the "Author's Note" to this 1953 book, "Any apparently extraordinary events which are narrated in this book are of secondary importance in the story of my conversion. This conversion was motivated by a love of Jesus Christ, a love which grew out of my meditations on the Scriptures."

He wrote in the first chapter, "I, too, am wicked. I lacked... the goodness that made Saint Francis overcome the horror he felt of the bad odor of the lepers... This is a critical moment in my interior life, in the building up of my soul. I, now a Christian, ardently and openly a Christian (after living for decades as a hidden, potential Christian), am not able to follow in the sweet footprints of my Redeemer, kissing them with tears. This I should, and so, confess." (Pg. 18)

When he was studying to enter the University, he recalls, "On the rare occasions when I had two or three free hours at my disposal, I would take my small copy of the Gospels with me and go outside the city. In the midst of the green, all alone, I read the Gospels, experiencing the infinite pleasure... The justice of the Old Testament is reciprocal between man and man; consequently, the justice of God towards man must also be reciprocal... What a surprise I found, as I wandered in the green meadow: 'But I say to you: Love your enemies; pray for them...' All this was astounding to me. The New Testament is indeed a testament that is NEW." (Pg. 55-56)

During the First World War, "My hours of relaxation and comfort were those I spent in reading the Scriptures, and Old and the New Testaments. The figures that most attracted me were Isaias, Job, Jesus, Paul. The Psalms were my great favorites. I began to read with relish the mystical book Zohar, which I still enjoy. The text that is used is full of errors..." (Pg. 69) He adds, "I was so far from the thought of conversion to another religion that it never occurred to me to wonder: Will this literature speak too strongly to my heart? I only know that every evening I opened the Bible at random... for my meditation... It is in this way that the Person of Jesus and His teachings became most dear to me, without ever giving me the taste of forbidden fruit." (Pg. 69-70)

He says that in 1917, "I put my pen down on the table and, as if in a trance, began to invoke the name of Jesus. I found no peace until I saw Him... in the dark corner of the room. I gazed on Him for a long time without feeling any excitement, rather in a perfect serenity of spirit. Neither then, nor after thirty years, could I say what happened in my soul to produce such a phenomenon... What did it all mean? To me now, as then, the nearness of Jesus is sufficient. Was this experience objectively real or only subjective? I do not know... No doubt such an experience represents a kind of saturation point reached in a continuous interior process of long duration, a process of which i had been unaware." (Pg. 72)

He asks, "Is conversion an infidelity, an infidelity towards the faith previously professed? ... Before answering, one should stop and ask himself what FAITH is in itself. Faith is an adherence, not to a tradition or family ot tribe, or even nation, it is an adherence of our life and our works to the Will of God as it is revealed to each in the intimacy of conscience. Was Saint Paul unfaithful? How many guiltless Christian Jews he had cast into prison!... to an intelligent man and a fervent Hebrew... conversion meant obedience to the voice of conscience." (Pg. 108-109)

Of the Nazi persecution of Jews in Rome, he says, "the influence of the Vatican was great, and open persecution was certain to produce a great outcry from the Pope. The number of Jews was small, and the Germans had little to gain from their elimination... I should like to say here that the people of Rome loathed the Nazis and had intense pity for the Jews. They would willingly have assisted in the evacuation of the Jewish population into remote villages, where they could have been concealed and protected by Christian families. Christian families in the heart of Rome would have accepted Jews... The Holy Father sent by hand a letter to the bishops instructing them to lift the enclosure from convents and monasteries, so that they could become refuges for the Jews... IN face of this charity, the fate of so many of the persecuted is especially tragic." (Pg. 140-141)

He states, "Only now do I understand that Providence has given me a tendency towards mysticism; but, to speak truthfully, I knew nothing about this myself... In the years that followed, when the seed of the Christian life that the invisible hand of God had cast into my soul began to grow with greater vigor, I still did not observe any conflict between this development and my part as a member of the Jewish religious community... God began to be more human for me---if I may use such an expression. He was no longer the God of thunder... No, I began to be conscious of a God whom I loved... I began to feel more and more keenly the desire to find someone who would speak to me of the God of Love... For many years I had been able to unite Hebraism and Christianity---or was this an illusion? is the idea absurd?---because I loved both. What else could I do?" (Pg. 179-182)

In 1944, "my wife said to me: 'Today while you were before the Ark of the Torah, it seemed to me as it if the white figure of Jesus put His hands on your head as if He were blessing you.' ... It was a few days after this that I resigned my post in the Israelite Community and went to a quite unknown priest in order to receive instruction.... [On] the 13th of February [1945] ...I received the Sacrament of Baptism and was incorporated into the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ." (Pg. 184)

For having taken refuge in the Vatican in 1943 when the Germans entered Rome, Zolli was viewed as a "traitor" by Jews. (The early stage in his life when he was fascinated with Jesus and the New Testament also cast doubt on the firmness of his Jewish commitment.) Nevertheless, his heartfelt story is one of the most interesting "conversion" stories around, and will interest Christians (particularly Catholics, of course) but also mystics of many varieties.


What Are They Saying About Papal Primacy
What Are They Saying About Papal Primacy
by J. Michael Miller
Edition: Paperback
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5.0 out of 5 stars A CONSIDERATION OF VARIOUS MODERN THEORIES OF THE PAPACY, April 11, 2014
At the time this book was written in 1982, J. Michael Miller was a professor theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. He has also written The Holy See's Teaching on Catholic Schools and Life's Greatest Grace: Why I Belong to the Catholic Church.

He wrote in the Preface, "Despite the gloomy predictions in the 1970s that the papacy was an ailing, if not dying, institution, the Pope has emerged as a center-stage figure in world and Church affairs in a way which would have been unthinkable twenty years ago... This book... is neither another panegyric nor a critical analysis ... Instead, I wish to consider the important, if less known, ecumenical interest in the theology of papal primacy that has been developing since Vatican II... This book will therefore fulfill its purpose if it succeeds in demonstrating that among Catholics, Lutherans and Anglicans a growing convergence of opinion on the origin and necessity of the papacy is emerging." (Pg. 1, 3)

He observes, "at the outset of his difficulties with Rome Luther did not dissent from the papacy itself but from the theological arguments used to legitimate it. He accepted papal primacy as an historical institution ordained by God and shaped by man. Within the juridical organization of the Christian community the bishop of Rome was above others. If the Pope would submit to the judgment of the word of God and renounce his claim that submission to the papacy was necessary for salvation, then Luther would acknowledge the papacy as a legitimate ecclesial structure of human institution. But if the Pope would not accept this... then he has to be considered as the antichrist." (Pg. 12)

He asks, "How does a Catholic theologian who accepts papal primacy account for the lapse of time between the institution of Petrine primacy by Christ and the explicit claim of the bishop of Rome that he was the successor of Peter, a consciousness not usually dated earlier than the mid-third century?" (Pg. 36) He adds, "The Church... recognized in the commission of Christ that Jesus had provided an office for guaranteeing the unity of the Church and that the Pope fulfilled the same function in the episcopal college which Peter had carried out in the apostolic college. Consequently, the primatial office was not present in the early Church from the outset. The historical papacy emerged at a later date when it was needed to fulfill the purpose for which it had been established." (Pg. 38) He further states, "Acceptance of papal primacy ultimately rests upon a conviction of faith. Thus, for most Catholic theologians the papacy shares in the mystery of the Church and is an object of faith." (Pg. 39)

He wonders, "Since recent exegetical and historical studies suggest that the papacy, as an operative and recognized ecclesial institution, did not emerge until the middle or the end of the second century, do we therefore conclude that the papacy should no longer be held as divinely instituted because it cannot be traced back to the explicit will of the historical Jesus?" (Pg.. 87) He suggests, "To a great extent, the historical papacy owes its origin to the contingencies of time, place and other circumstances dependent upon free human decisions. But Catholics also think that papal primacy developed in response to the Holy Spirit's guidance of the Church which called for incarnating the ministry Jesus conferred on Peter. Thus, the papacy is more accurately held to exist by divine design... rather than by immediate divine institution." (Pg. 89) He admits, however, that "This difference between a Catholic and a Lutheran theology of the papacy remains unresolved and is not overcome by adopting the same term to describe papal primacy." (Pg. 91)

Though more than thirty years old, this book will still interest persons studying the "theory" behind the papacy, and its role.


What Are They Saying About God and Evil?
What Are They Saying About God and Evil?
by Barry L. Whitney
Edition: Paperback
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5.0 out of 5 stars A SUMMARY OF VARIOUS THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, April 11, 2014
At the time this book was published in 1989, Barry Whitney was a professor in the department of religious studies at the University of Windsor, Canada. He has also written/edited Theodicy: An Annotated Bibliography on the Problem of Evil, 1960-1991, Evil and the Process God, Process studies. Volume I (1971) to Volume 32 (2003). etc.

He said in the first chapter, "The issue before us is clear: how can we continue to WORSHIP, indeed how can we even BELIEVE in the existence of an almighty and all-loving God, when the world is so ravaged by evils and misery? The question cannot be avoided, whether we seek a rational, theological explanation or whether, as suffering people, we attempt merely to cope with the evils and tragedies which devastate our lives, evils which so often come with crushing swiftness, with little or no warning, and which leave no life untouched." (Pg. 6)

He notes, "Another biblical theory which has an especially predominant role in the New Testament ... is the view that suffering contributes to the good of others... This view has undeniable merit in helping people COPE with suffering; yet it may be less successful as a means of EXPLAINING evil... it is no longer obvious that 'most human suffering has a potential value for others.'" (Pg. 25)

He admits that "Process [theology] writers are aware that their conception of God has been criticized consistently as being too limited, too weak, and hence, unworthy of worship... a solely persuasive God... is too weak to merit the appellation of deity. Process theists are resolute, nevertheless, in defending the religious viability of their understanding of God." (Pg. 48-49)

Winslow Shea is cited as stating, "If [God] cannot be blamed for not creating more happiness than he did create, on the ground that otherwise no matter how much happiness He created He could still be blamed for not creating more of it, then it seems to me... that God cannot be praised for having created any happiness at all." (Pg. 60)

He cites Richard Rubenstein's After Auschwitz: "Rubenstein has argued that the covenant God is obligated to punish evil, and that this punishment supposedly is just and deserved; yet, since this view implies that the Jews must bear responsibility for the holocaust, Rubenstein feels that he has no choice but to reject the God of the covenant: 'To see any purpose in the death camps, the traditional believer is forced to regard the most demonic, antihuman explosion in all history as a meaningless expression of God's purposes.'" (Pg. 83)

This is a useful summary of theological views on the problem of evil, and will be of interest to those studying this problem (particularly if studying it from a theological perspective).


Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? - A Debate (08) by Farrell, Warren - Svoboda, Steven - Sterba, James P [Paperback (2007)]
Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? - A Debate (08) by Farrell, Warren - Svoboda, Steven - Sterba, James P [Paperback (2007)]
by Farrel
Edition: Paperback
4 used & new from $12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars NOT A “DEBATE,” BUT A PRESENTATION OF CONTRASTING VIEWS, April 11, 2014
Warren Farrell (born 1943) is an American author of many books on men's and women's issues. He was once a 3-time elected board member of the New York chapter of NOW, and was lauded in the media as the male equivalent of Gloria Steinem, for writing The Liberated Man. Unfortunately, his ideas later changed radically (perhaps for personal reasons, described in Susan Faludi's book Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women), and he went on to write books such as Why Men Are the Way They Are, The Myth of Male Power, Why Men Earn More, etc. James P. Sterba is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, and has written books such as Three Challenges to Ethics: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Multiculturalism, Justice: Alternative Political Perspectives, Social and Political Philosophy: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives, etc.

If you're hoping this book would feature some direct interaction (or even cross-examination) between the two authors, you'll be disappointed. Each one writes his own section separately, and there is no direct interaction between them. They wrote in the Preface of this 2008 book, "We have taken up the question of whether feminism has discriminated against men with respect to military service, healthcare, domestic violence, rape, the criminal justice system, the workplace, divorce, child custody, the media, and public education. One of us, Warren Farrell, argues that feminism has discriminated against men in each of those areas, while the other, James Sterba, argues that feminism has not discriminated ... We truly believe that such open, respectful exchanges... are the only way to achieve truly justified views on feminism and its relationship to men---or, for that matter, on any other topic."

Farrell recalls (of his days as a "feminist speaker"), "my audiences were about 90 percent women and 10 percent men... I wondered if the reason so many more women than men listened to me was because I had been listening to women but not listening to men. I decided to experiment with other ways of getting men to express their feelings... Now when ... feminists said, 'Men have the power,' my answers incorporated both sexes' perspectives. Almost overnight my standing ovations disintegrated... I was no longer receiving ... new requests to speak. My financial security was drying up. I would not be honest if I denied that this tempted me to return to being a spokesperson only for women's perspectives... I quickly discovered it took far more internal security to speak on behalf of men than to speak on behalf of women." (Pg. 4-5)

While discussing the all-male draft, he says, "Before boys and men can vote, they have the obligation to protect that right with the risk of their life; women receive the right to vote without the obligation to protect that right with the risk of anything. Only women receive the privileges of freedom without a single obligation. This male-female gap creates... a gap between male obligation and female entitlement... even if one believes that women should not be in combat... there are dozens of other obligations that women could be REQUIRED to register for at age eighteen." (Pg. 21) He suggests, "If an employer has to pay a man $1 for the same work a woman would do for 76 cents, why would anyone hire a man?... Are women less effective? No... they have different priorities... the road to high pay is a toll road. Real power is about having a better life. The male definition of power---feeling obligated to earn money someone else spends while he dies sooner---is not real power." (Pg. 57)

About Date-Rape, he argues, "A stranger forcing himself on a woman at knife-point IS different from date rape... When a woman agrees to a date, she does not make a choice to be sexual, but she does make a choice to explore sexual POSSIBILITIES. Date rape can be differently traumatic because it involves a violation of trust, the disappointment of hope, a mistrust of self, and a type of self doubt that is ... different with stranger rape." (Pg. 42) He contends, "Feminism reinforced this traditional heritage of women not having anything but their own standards of accountability. A woman was not to be held accountable for how she used child support money. If a woman at work wore a mini-skirt and a low-cut blouse and the wrong man responded, feminists suggested he should be held accountable for sexual harassment, but she should not be held responsible for sexual solicitation. Women were taking on more responsibility, but not more accountability.” (Pg. 103) He concludes, "There should be neither a women's movement nor a men's movement, but rather a gender transition movement that helps both sexes make the transition from our genetic heritage of rigid roles to our genetic future of more flexible roles." (Pg. 105)

Sterba, on the other hand, states that "I shall show that feminism has not discriminated against men or, more precisely... feminism has not been appropriately used by its defenders to discriminate against men." (Pg. 130) He notes that "it is also important to recognize that from the very beginning it was the superior qualifications of women that led the U.S. military to turn to women in order to save the all-volunteer force. The women drawn to military service were smarter and better educated than the men were." (Pg. 138)

Sterba summarizes, "it is the male military elite who have kept the all-male draft and the combat exclusion in place for their own benefit and the benefit of other men... As far as the seven-year life expectancy gap between women and men... feminism did not create that gap, but it has a strategy for getting rid of it... the attempt to show that feminists have discriminated against men by using an expanded notion of rape... is seen to fail... none of the discrimination that men suffer from in the workplace is because of feminism... the primary source of discrimination is the social expectation that women, not men, should adjust their employment outside the home to meet the obligations they both have inside the home... The issue of whether men are being discriminated against in schools in the United States turns out to be primarily a race and class issue rather than a gender issue." (Pg. 208-210)

The book would have benefited from including a chapter in which each writer directly addressed the other's essay; but even as it is, it is a very thought-provoking contrast of ideas, that will be of considerable to anyone interested in feminism or other gender issues.


Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?: A Debate: 1st (First) Edition
Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?: A Debate: 1st (First) Edition
by James P. Sterba (With), Steven Svoboda (With) Warren Farrell (with Steven Svoboda)
Edition: Paperback
4 used & new from $25.68

5.0 out of 5 stars NOT A “DEBATE,” BUT A PRESENTATION OF CONTRASTING VIEWS, April 11, 2014
Warren Farrell (born 1943) is an American author of many books on men's and women's issues. He was once a 3-time elected board member of the New York chapter of NOW, and was lauded in the media as the male equivalent of Gloria Steinem, for writing The Liberated Man. Unfortunately, his ideas later changed radically (perhaps for personal reasons, described in Susan Faludi's book Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women), and he went on to write books such as Why Men Are the Way They Are, The Myth of Male Power, Why Men Earn More, etc. James P. Sterba is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, and has written books such as Three Challenges to Ethics: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Multiculturalism, Justice: Alternative Political Perspectives, Social and Political Philosophy: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives, etc.

If you're hoping this book would feature some direct interaction (or even cross-examination) between the two authors, you'll be disappointed. Each one writes his own section separately, and there is no direct interaction between them. They wrote in the Preface of this 2008 book, "We have taken up the question of whether feminism has discriminated against men with respect to military service, healthcare, domestic violence, rape, the criminal justice system, the workplace, divorce, child custody, the media, and public education. One of us, Warren Farrell, argues that feminism has discriminated against men in each of those areas, while the other, James Sterba, argues that feminism has not discriminated ... We truly believe that such open, respectful exchanges... are the only way to achieve truly justified views on feminism and its relationship to men---or, for that matter, on any other topic."

Farrell recalls (of his days as a "feminist speaker"), "my audiences were about 90 percent women and 10 percent men... I wondered if the reason so many more women than men listened to me was because I had been listening to women but not listening to men. I decided to experiment with other ways of getting men to express their feelings... Now when ... feminists said, 'Men have the power,' my answers incorporated both sexes' perspectives. Almost overnight my standing ovations disintegrated... I was no longer receiving ... new requests to speak. My financial security was drying up. I would not be honest if I denied that this tempted me to return to being a spokesperson only for women's perspectives... I quickly discovered it took far more internal security to speak on behalf of men than to speak on behalf of women." (Pg. 4-5)

While discussing the all-male draft, he says, "Before boys and men can vote, they have the obligation to protect that right with the risk of their life; women receive the right to vote without the obligation to protect that right with the risk of anything. Only women receive the privileges of freedom without a single obligation. This male-female gap creates... a gap between male obligation and female entitlement... even if one believes that women should not be in combat... there are dozens of other obligations that women could be REQUIRED to register for at age eighteen." (Pg. 21) He suggests, "If an employer has to pay a man $1 for the same work a woman would do for 76 cents, why would anyone hire a man?... Are women less effective? No... they have different priorities... the road to high pay is a toll road. Real power is about having a better life. The male definition of power---feeling obligated to earn money someone else spends while he dies sooner---is not real power." (Pg. 57)

About Date-Rape, he argues, "A stranger forcing himself on a woman at knife-point IS different from date rape... When a woman agrees to a date, she does not make a choice to be sexual, but she does make a choice to explore sexual POSSIBILITIES. Date rape can be differently traumatic because it involves a violation of trust, the disappointment of hope, a mistrust of self, and a type of self doubt that is ... different with stranger rape." (Pg. 42) He contends, "Feminism reinforced this traditional heritage of women not having anything but their own standards of accountability. A woman was not to be held accountable for how she used child support money. If a woman at work wore a mini-skirt and a low-cut blouse and the wrong man responded, feminists suggested he should be held accountable for sexual harassment, but she should not be held responsible for sexual solicitation. Women were taking on more responsibility, but not more accountability.” (Pg. 103) He concludes, "There should be neither a women's movement nor a men's movement, but rather a gender transition movement that helps both sexes make the transition from our genetic heritage of rigid roles to our genetic future of more flexible roles." (Pg. 105)

Sterba, on the other hand, states that "I shall show that feminism has not discriminated against men or, more precisely... feminism has not been appropriately used by its defenders to discriminate against men." (Pg. 130) He notes that "it is also important to recognize that from the very beginning it was the superior qualifications of women that led the U.S. military to turn to women in order to save the all-volunteer force. The women drawn to military service were smarter and better educated than the men were." (Pg. 138)

Sterba summarizes, "it is the male military elite who have kept the all-male draft and the combat exclusion in place for their own benefit and the benefit of other men... As far as the seven-year life expectancy gap between women and men... feminism did not create that gap, but it has a strategy for getting rid of it... the attempt to show that feminists have discriminated against men by using an expanded notion of rape... is seen to fail... none of the discrimination that men suffer from in the workplace is because of feminism... the primary source of discrimination is the social expectation that women, not men, should adjust their employment outside the home to meet the obligations they both have inside the home... The issue of whether men are being discriminated against in schools in the United States turns out to be primarily a race and class issue rather than a gender issue." (Pg. 208-210)

The book would have benefited from including a chapter in which each writer directly addressed the other's essay; but even as it is, it is a very thought-provoking contrast of ideas, that will be of considerable to anyone interested in feminism or other gender issues.


Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?: A Debate (Point/Counterpoint (Oxford Paperback)) by Farrell, Warren, Svoboda, Steven, Sterba, James P. [2007]
Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?: A Debate (Point/Counterpoint (Oxford Paperback)) by Farrell, Warren, Svoboda, Steven, Sterba, James P. [2007]
11 used & new from $11.58

5.0 out of 5 stars NOT A “DEBATE,” BUT A PRESENTATION OF CONTRASTING VIEWS, April 11, 2014
Warren Farrell (born 1943) is an American author of many books on men's and women's issues. He was once a 3-time elected board member of the New York chapter of NOW, and was lauded in the media as the male equivalent of Gloria Steinem, for writing The Liberated Man. Unfortunately, his ideas later changed radically (perhaps for personal reasons, described in Susan Faludi's book Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women), and he went on to write books such as Why Men Are the Way They Are, The Myth of Male Power, Why Men Earn More, etc. James P. Sterba is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, and has written books such as Three Challenges to Ethics: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Multiculturalism, Justice: Alternative Political Perspectives, Social and Political Philosophy: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives, etc.

If you're hoping this book would feature some direct interaction (or even cross-examination) between the two authors, you'll be disappointed. Each one writes his own section separately, and there is no direct interaction between them. They wrote in the Preface of this 2008 book, "We have taken up the question of whether feminism has discriminated against men with respect to military service, healthcare, domestic violence, rape, the criminal justice system, the workplace, divorce, child custody, the media, and public education. One of us, Warren Farrell, argues that feminism has discriminated against men in each of those areas, while the other, James Sterba, argues that feminism has not discriminated ... We truly believe that such open, respectful exchanges... are the only way to achieve truly justified views on feminism and its relationship to men---or, for that matter, on any other topic."

Farrell recalls (of his days as a "feminist speaker"), "my audiences were about 90 percent women and 10 percent men... I wondered if the reason so many more women than men listened to me was because I had been listening to women but not listening to men. I decided to experiment with other ways of getting men to express their feelings... Now when ... feminists said, 'Men have the power,' my answers incorporated both sexes' perspectives. Almost overnight my standing ovations disintegrated... I was no longer receiving ... new requests to speak. My financial security was drying up. I would not be honest if I denied that this tempted me to return to being a spokesperson only for women's perspectives... I quickly discovered it took far more internal security to speak on behalf of men than to speak on behalf of women." (Pg. 4-5)

While discussing the all-male draft, he says, "Before boys and men can vote, they have the obligation to protect that right with the risk of their life; women receive the right to vote without the obligation to protect that right with the risk of anything. Only women receive the privileges of freedom without a single obligation. This male-female gap creates... a gap between male obligation and female entitlement... even if one believes that women should not be in combat... there are dozens of other obligations that women could be REQUIRED to register for at age eighteen." (Pg. 21) He suggests, "If an employer has to pay a man $1 for the same work a woman would do for 76 cents, why would anyone hire a man?... Are women less effective? No... they have different priorities... the road to high pay is a toll road. Real power is about having a better life. The male definition of power---feeling obligated to earn money someone else spends while he dies sooner---is not real power." (Pg. 57)

About Date-Rape, he argues, "A stranger forcing himself on a woman at knife-point IS different from date rape... When a woman agrees to a date, she does not make a choice to be sexual, but she does make a choice to explore sexual POSSIBILITIES. Date rape can be differently traumatic because it involves a violation of trust, the disappointment of hope, a mistrust of self, and a type of self doubt that is ... different with stranger rape." (Pg. 42) He contends, "Feminism reinforced this traditional heritage of women not having anything but their own standards of accountability. A woman was not to be held accountable for how she used child support money. If a woman at work wore a mini-skirt and a low-cut blouse and the wrong man responded, feminists suggested he should be held accountable for sexual harassment, but she should not be held responsible for sexual solicitation. Women were taking on more responsibility, but not more accountability.” (Pg. 103) He concludes, "There should be neither a women's movement nor a men's movement, but rather a gender transition movement that helps both sexes make the transition from our genetic heritage of rigid roles to our genetic future of more flexible roles." (Pg. 105)

Sterba, on the other hand, states that "I shall show that feminism has not discriminated against men or, more precisely... feminism has not been appropriately used by its defenders to discriminate against men." (Pg. 130) He notes that "it is also important to recognize that from the very beginning it was the superior qualifications of women that led the U.S. military to turn to women in order to save the all-volunteer force. The women drawn to military service were smarter and better educated than the men were." (Pg. 138)

Sterba summarizes, "it is the male military elite who have kept the all-male draft and the combat exclusion in place for their own benefit and the benefit of other men... As far as the seven-year life expectancy gap between women and men... feminism did not create that gap, but it has a strategy for getting rid of it... the attempt to show that feminists have discriminated against men by using an expanded notion of rape... is seen to fail... none of the discrimination that men suffer from in the workplace is because of feminism... the primary source of discrimination is the social expectation that women, not men, should adjust their employment outside the home to meet the obligations they both have inside the home... The issue of whether men are being discriminated against in schools in the United States turns out to be primarily a race and class issue rather than a gender issue." (Pg. 208-210)

The book would have benefited from including a chapter in which each writer directly addressed the other's essay; but even as it is, it is a very thought-provoking contrast of ideas, that will be of considerable to anyone interested in feminism or other gender issues.


Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?: A Debate (Point/Counterpoint (Oxford Paperback))
Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?: A Debate (Point/Counterpoint (Oxford Paperback))
by Warren Farrell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.80
55 used & new from $5.27

5.0 out of 5 stars NOT A "DEBATE," BUT A PRESENTATION OF SHARPLY CONTRASTING VIEWS, April 11, 2014
Warren Farrell (born 1943) is an American author of many books on men's and women's issues. He was once a 3-time elected board member of the New York chapter of NOW, and was lauded in the media as the male equivalent of Gloria Steinem, for writing The Liberated Man. Unfortunately, his ideas later changed radically (perhaps for personal reasons, described in Susan Faludi's book Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women), and he went on to write books such as Why Men Are the Way They Are, The Myth of Male Power, Why Men Earn More, etc. James P. Sterba is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, and has written books such as Three Challenges to Ethics: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Multiculturalism, Justice: Alternative Political Perspectives, Social and Political Philosophy: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives, etc.

If you're hoping this book would feature some direct interaction (or even cross-examination) between the two authors, you'll be disappointed. Each one writes his own section separately, and there is no direct interaction between them. They wrote in the Preface of this 2008 book, "We have taken up the question of whether feminism has discriminated against men with respect to military service, healthcare, domestic violence, rape, the criminal justice system, the workplace, divorce, child custody, the media, and public education. One of us, Warren Farrell, argues that feminism has discriminated against men in each of those areas, while the other, James Sterba, argues that feminism has not discriminated ... We truly believe that such open, respectful exchanges... are the only way to achieve truly justified views on feminism and its relationship to men---or, for that matter, on any other topic."

Farrell recalls (of his days as a "feminist speaker"), "my audiences were about 90 percent women and 10 percent men... I wondered if the reason so many more women than men listened to me was because I had been listening to women but not listening to men. I decided to experiment with other ways of getting men to express their feelings... Now when ... feminists said, 'Men have the power,' my answers incorporated both sexes' perspectives. Almost overnight my standing ovations disintegrated... I was no longer receiving ... new requests to speak. My financial security was drying up. I would not be honest if I denied that this tempted me to return to being a spokesperson only for women's perspectives... I quickly discovered it took far more internal security to speak on behalf of men than to speak on behalf of women." (Pg. 4-5)

While discussing the all-male draft, he says, "Before boys and men can vote, they have the obligation to protect that right with the risk of their life; women receive the right to vote without the obligation to protect that right with the risk of anything. Only women receive the privileges of freedom without a single obligation. This male-female gap creates... a gap between male obligation and female entitlement... even if one believes that women should not be in combat... there are dozens of other obligations that women could be REQUIRED to register for at age eighteen." (Pg. 21) He suggests, "If an employer has to pay a man $1 for the same work a woman would do for 76 cents, why would anyone hire a man?... Are women less effective? No... they have different priorities... the road to high pay is a toll road. Real power is about having a better life. The male definition of power---feeling obligated to earn money someone else spends while he dies sooner---is not real power." (Pg. 57)

About Date-Rape, he argues, "A stranger forcing himself on a woman at knife-point IS different from date rape... When a woman agrees to a date, she does not make a choice to be sexual, but she does make a choice to explore sexual POSSIBILITIES. Date rape can be differently traumatic because it involves a violation of trust, the disappointment of hope, a mistrust of self, and a type of self doubt that is ... different with stranger rape." (Pg. 42) He contends, "Feminism reinforced this traditional heritage of women not having anything but their own standards of accountability. A woman was not to be held accountable for how she used child support money. If a woman at work wore a mini-skirt and a low-cut blouse and the wrong man responded, feminists suggested he should be held accountable for sexual harassment, but she should not be held responsible for sexual solicitation. Women were taking on more responsibility, but not more accountability.” (Pg. 103) He concludes, "There should be neither a women's movement nor a men's movement, but rather a gender transition movement that helps both sexes make the transition from our genetic heritage of rigid roles to our genetic future of more flexible roles." (Pg. 105)

Sterba, on the other hand, states that "I shall show that feminism has not discriminated against men or, more precisely... feminism has not been appropriately used by its defenders to discriminate against men." (Pg. 130) He notes that "it is also important to recognize that from the very beginning it was the superior qualifications of women that led the U.S. military to turn to women in order to save the all-volunteer force. The women drawn to military service were smarter and better educated than the men were." (Pg. 138)

Sterba summarizes, "it is the male military elite who have kept the all-male draft and the combat exclusion in place for their own benefit and the benefit of other men... As far as the seven-year life expectancy gap between women and men... feminism did not create that gap, but it has a strategy for getting rid of it... the attempt to show that feminists have discriminated against men by using an expanded notion of rape... is seen to fail... none of the discrimination that men suffer from in the workplace is because of feminism... the primary source of discrimination is the social expectation that women, not men, should adjust their employment outside the home to meet the obligations they both have inside the home... The issue of whether men are being discriminated against in schools in the United States turns out to be primarily a race and class issue rather than a gender issue." (Pg. 208-210)

The book would have benefited from including a chapter in which each writer directly addressed the other's essay; but even as it is, it is a very thought-provoking contrast of ideas, that will be of considerable to anyone interested in feminism or other gender issues.


The Liberated Man
The Liberated Man
by Farrell. Warren
Edition: Paperback
6 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars FARRELL'S FIRST BOOK - INTERESTING TO CONTRAST WITH HIS LATER IDEAS, April 11, 2014
This review is from: The Liberated Man (Paperback)
Warren Farrell (born 1943) is an American author of many books on men's and women's issues. At the time this book was published in 1974, he was lauded in the media as the male equivalent of Gloria Steinem; unfortunately, his ideas changed radically after this book (for personal reasons described in Susan Faludi's book Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women), and he went on to write books such as Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?: A Debate, Why Men Are the Way They Are, The Myth of Male Power, Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap -- and What Women Can Do About It, etc.

He suggests, "But the more I become involved with seeing men change and resist change the more I find that the men who most limit themselves have one thing in common---they cannot listen." (Pg. 9) He states, "In my own research, I found men unwilling to give their sons dolls, with no thought that this might help them become better fathers." (Pg. 12)

He observes, "When a discussion or men's and women's liberation starts questioning one stereotype after another, men usually get frustrated: 'Won't there be any differences left? Is everyone going to be alike--unisex, uni-everything?' The answer is exactly the opposite: people will develop as individuals rather than mold themselves into a sexual stereotype." (Pg. 76)

He points out, "Aggression is stimulated in boys through almost every avenue of socialization." (Pg. 95) He argues, "The insecure man is one who often gets trapped into proving himself a man. It is through this need that society can manipulate him." (Pg. 97)

He notes, "Most men say, 'If I don't teach my boy to be a boy, he'll lost his identity. I'll make him insecure.' In fact, the opposite is often true. Stereotyped sex roles create lifelong anxieties over whether the child is deviating from or living up to the sex-role standard." (Pg. 174) He concludes, "...few men change without a woman who is similarly committed---and few women change without at least a partially-cooperative man." (Pg. 190-191)

One may lament the radical change in Farrell's views, but this early book is not without its value.


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