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Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics
Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics
by Ross Gregory Douthat
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.61
71 used & new from $2.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, November 26, 2013
I thought the book would go into more depth with conservative churches apparent approval of free market dogma. Jesus certainly did not approve of taking advantage of others. The author has a sentence here and there about it, but much more emphasis on the failings of liberals. The "Sexual Revolution" since the 60's seemed to be the #1 heresy according to the author. It certainly has caused problems.

I bought this off the shelf, but should have looked into the author's background more first. If they are partisan you can usually tell what direction they are going to write. The author does criticize all sides- liberal, moderate, conservative, non-Christian, and atheist. But, it was not really "fair and balanced." It was so negative I skipped to the last chapter to see what he did approve. I did go back and read the whole book afterward. His "solution" seemed too much like just wishful thinking. Like most critical books it was much stronger on what is wrong than how to improve. His writing style seemed pretentious to me. The book is interesting in giving somewhat of a history of Christianity since WWII. I understand that some things presented as facts are inaccurate. Also, I think it detracts from the persuasiveness of an argument when the author exaggerates so blatantly. It is a very interesting topic but left me depressed for the future.

We the People (Bonus Dvd) (Amaray)
We the People (Bonus Dvd) (Amaray)
14 used & new from $7.93

5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Be Warned, February 24, 2012
I had the shocking experience this week of attending one of Ray's concerts. It included some of the material on this album.

I had been a fan since his early hits in the 60's. I had no idea he had gotten so heavily into extreme right wing politics. Not for me! I want an entertainer to entertain, not do political rants. Political jokes are ok if they are funny. This is not clever- just partisan venom, nothing you haven't heard before on Fox or Rush.

It makes me wonder about the lyrics and spirit of his previous work. Was he a fraud, or has he gone off the deep end in recent years? Write something funny again Ray, or just retire.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2012 3:52 AM PST

How Lincoln Learned to Read: Twelve Great Americans and the Educations That Made Them
How Lincoln Learned to Read: Twelve Great Americans and the Educations That Made Them
by Daniel Wolff
Edition: Hardcover
66 used & new from $0.01

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good history of education, May 27, 2009
This is an important book, not because of insights about what is educationally helpful and what is not, as it proposes to do. The two educational points I thought it made were that the U.S. educational system has gotten better and better at offering opportunty to all, and the importance of intrinsic motivation.

The educational system doesn't seem to get a lot of credit for the fact that it leads the world in providing an opportunity for education to almost all of its citizens. When you think of its exclusiveness in its early days, and which remains today in many countries, that is a worthy accomplishment.

Second, and more importantly, the 12 famous individuals profiled in the book were very diverse, yet all had in common strong motivation. That may be the biggest weakness in schools today. Even though self-reliance is a widely popular mantra, most criticism of education seems more focused on the schools than on the students. Poor effort is surely a major cause of poor performance. Students shouldn't be so passive. The 12 individuals in the book did not achieve success by waiting for someone to motivate them. Most of them had many struggles to overcome.

The book could stand alone as good history, regardless of its relevance to education. It even shed new light on commonly known facts by the way it told them. I knew the story of JFK and the wealth of his family, but the book really made clear how different is the life of the rich from most of the rest of us. It has implications for choosing leaders. Are they too isolated from the problems most of us cope with?

Also, the story of Elvis made clear the "vicious cycle" of the economic life in the South for many working class people.

This book is interesting to read and makes history come alive. A good companion to this book is one called Amusing Ourselves to Death.

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