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Customer Review

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Point Here and There, But Hedges Again Misses His Mark, April 28, 2008
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This review is from: I Don't Believe in Atheists (Hardcover)
I just finally got around to reading Hedges' American Fascist, which was a polemic and misrepresentation of the facts and in this book he does no better. I wasn't going to review these books until I saw him on C-SPAN and his rhetorical and oratory skills may lead people to purchase this possibly well intentioned book, but one that often misses the weightier arguments.

Other reviews have done a good job, so I'm really just piling on. I want nothing more than to read well reasoned books destroying the arguments of Dawkins, Dennet, Harris et all (and there are many out there). But, I assert, Hedges does not always understand the New Atheists arguments correctly, or maybe a better word is fully. Instead, it is as if when he read their works he fixated on their most polemic sayings and thought that was representative of their complete position. Sure Harris and Dawkins have not helped their cause with their own misrepresentations of religion, but two wrongs do not make a right, no matter how much I might despise their tripe.

Secondly, Hedges again cannot leave the fundamentalists alone and like his last book, he greatly develops a caricature of them. And like his last book, he does make a point or two, but all in all, he misses out on the weightier arguments for the quick journalistic sound bites. Clever wording takes the place of a well reasoned challenge and the book suffers for it. Like Becky Garrison's new book opposing atheism, I wanted to like it, but was left wanting.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 19, 2008 4:06:13 PM PDT
You, a Christian, and me, an atheist, have again wound up at the same conclusion.

Ironically, if you really want to read a good argument - and well documented! - arguing against evolutionary hubris (of those like Dawkins and E.O. Wilson), you must read Mary Midgley's book "Evolution as a Religion." Pretty well argued, but does overstate the case sometimes (and is guilty of quoting a few nut-jobs that don't always represent the majority of evolutionists well).

The irony? Midgley is an atheist.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2008 8:55:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 19, 2008 9:12:50 PM PDT
K.H. says:
Thanks . . . after this summer semester is over, I'll have to check that book out (as well as I am going to re-read, at least parts of Sagan's shadows of forgotten ancestors).

Hedges is great at creating a caricature and it irritates me. It is nice to know I am not alone.

Ken

btw-if i give a one to two star review, it is generally really bad. I normally try to read a work form the author's perspective and hence, you will notice a lot of 3-5 star reviews. I try and take a book on its own terms, so even when I disgaree I can give a book a good review. Hence, why friends are puzzeled with me when I give a good review of a creation science book and elsewhere an atheistic book that will have negative things to say about creationism. But Hedges' books (at last these two) are just horrendous.
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