25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Intelligent, insightful, provocative and challenging!,
This review is from: The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image (Hardcover)
Intelligent, insightful, provocative and challenging, this is a book I could hardly put down! For many, Leonard Shlain's thesis will be difficult to swallow, cutting across cultural and religious prejudices and taboos with the precision of a surgeon's scalpel. (The author's specialty is brain surgery). For others, this books will evoke many 'Ahas's' and 'Amens'. Unlike many contempory authors, Mr. Shlain offers us a genuine vision of ourselves. To borrow a Zen metaphor, reading this book is like holding up a polished mirror which allows us to see ourselves more clearly and wholly. In particular, the issue of hemispherical dominance in relationship to perception, communication, art, religion, politics, gender roles and values, psychology and philosophy is illuminated by this perspective. And the central question of 'What became of the Goddess?'is given a strong and intelligent reply.
Where I would like to see more emphasis in the book is on the perception of sound as well as visual stimulus. For example, music is not examined as the potentially integrating artform that can overcome the schizophrenic tendencies of left-brained written language and right-brained visual imagery. And the left brained time dominance over image and sound is not considered in relationship to motion pictures (film) or digital technology/voice transmission and music.
Despite these differences in perception and opinion, this is an important book addressing critical issues in our evolution and survival as a species. I hope to read more books by this author of wit, style and substance!