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3 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Pesky Philosophers, February 20, 2009
This review is from: Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
Why do philosophers have to muck around in other disciplines that they are not qualified to examine? Glover gets quite a bit of his history wrong, such as two glaring errors: Operation Mongoose was the CIA op to kill Castro, it had nothing to do with invading the island. The NKGB and NKVD were not one in the same as he erroneously claims.

He appears to be operating under the inane assumption that history is a cookie-cutter, and historical events cannot be pigeon-holed if one is a serious student of history. The historical narrative matters; you cannot just cut out snap-shots of a small operation (such as My Lai) here and then tackle a giant topic like Nazism all in the same work. I cannot figure out how this book is organized: it isn't chronological. it isn't even all confined the the 20th century; the reasons he chose to talk about the situations that he does are unclear. Why have several chapters on World War One and none on World War Two? Why nothing on the Turkish genocide of the Armenians? Why nothing about the Rape of Nanking?

Unfortunately, I was forced to purchase this book for a course and I am thoroughly disgusted with the glaring historical errors of fact and interpretation that this ignorant philosopher has written.

Philosophers need to leave history to historians and talk about the abstract nonsense no one cares about in their ivory towers and leave other disciplines alone, as they have their own philisophical underpinnings.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 21, 2010 12:58:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 21, 2010 1:15:27 AM PDT
Daniel says:
Unfortunately for the reviewer above, we live in the Internet age, where it takes a minute or two to verify facts.

What Glover said in his book (anyone reading this can search for the word 'mongoose' to find the passage):

"The United States had supported the unsuccessful 'Bay of Pigs' invasion by anti-Castro Cubans and contingency plans were made, under the code name 'Operation Mongoose', for an invasion by American forces."

What the original documentation from primary sources says about Mongoose under appendix J of "Program Review by the Chief of Operations, Operation Mongoose (Lansdale), 18 January 1962" [1]:

"Status: Defense has been tasked with preparing a contingency plan for U.S. military action, in case the Cuban people request U.S. help when their revolt starts making headway. This contingency plan will permit obtaining a policy decision on the major point of U.S. intentions, and is looked upon as a positive political-psychological factor in a peoples' revolt, even more than as a possible military action. Defense also has been tasked with fully assisting State and CIA, as commitments of Defense men, money, and materiel are required."

So Glover is correct. Above reviewer is wrong.

Secondly, RE: the NKGB and NKVD comment. Again, other people reading this can search for the term NKVD and go to page 247, where the author Glover states:

"When the lights went up after the film, Stalin put his hand round Voroshilov and said to the NKVD (later KGB) chief, Beria, ..."

As you can see, the passage in question is talking about the Chief of Soviet security under Stalin: Lavrentiy Beria [2]; not, the organisations themselves. So the reviewer here has read the passage wrong, or is confused about the history, which is understandable given the mess of Russian intelligence organisations [3].

As to the rest of this review I'll leave it up to the reader to decide whether he deserves an upvote or downvote. Suffice to say, amateur reviewers with an axe to grind need to leave reviews to reviewers who actually know what they are talking about, and blab on with strawman nonsense no one cares about on their blogs, and leave Amazon free of their personal rants.


(1) Found here:
(3) See here for the confusing chronology:

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2010 4:35:52 PM PDT
Wayne A. says:
Nice work, Daniel W.--this was really appreciated

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2010 7:26:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 18, 2010 10:06:12 AM PDT
R. Johnson says:
Excellent response, good use of simple facts to expose an incompetent review.

Posted on Jul 14, 2010 3:04:52 PM PDT
It seems that RDW is merely an arrogant undergraduate, drunk on his little bit of knowledge. We may just as well ignore him.
Rod Paris

Posted on Sep 29, 2010 1:59:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2011 5:32:40 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Dec 16, 2010 10:45:18 AM PST
You do realize this is a MORAL history right? That means he is outlining the corrosion of our basic moral ability throughout the history of the 20th century so the lay out is to explain what tribalism is or the Hobbesian trap and not to give an actual history of events. Maybe instead of sleeping in your course you should have payed more attention. It is sad when this reviewer is the product of an American education.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2011 11:48:38 AM PDT
Wow--you discovered a misprint and a description within a quote you--if Glover's editor--would have him take care to clarify. Further--Glover is discovered by you to be integrating interpretations of historical events, undermining the possibility of presenting a (subjective, I assume you mean) vantage point. I don't know what Glover could have been thinking--writing a philosophy book instead of a psychology book.

Yes, Ms. Meyer, you were completely correct in therefore fleeing from this book. Thank's for the heads-up.

Posted on May 22, 2011 3:16:44 PM PDT
And leave egg-laying to chicken... I used this book for a course in ethics in criminal justice, and all 30 participants found it inspiring and highly readable. I myself, with a rather long history of involvement with ethics, found it excellent. Mr. Wettengel seems to be a small mind in search for certainty, not enlightenment.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2011 12:10:00 AM PDT
Thank you, Prof. Paris. I can't imagine what drives Wettengel. They seem to be all over amazon, calling crap gold and calling gold crap. Some of them are clearly ideologically motivated, but I can't imagine how anyone miss the message of this fine book.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2011 2:54:11 AM PDT
zoltán says:
In her comment, Melanie C. Meyer butchers photographer Kenneth Jarecke's last name as 'Jareche'.
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