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Architects of the Culture of Death Paperback – October 30, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Benjamin Wiker holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from Vanderbilt University, has taught at Marquette University, St. Mary s University (Minnesota), Thomas Aquinas College, and Franciscan University, and is now a full-time writer and speaker. A senior fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, Wiker has written a number of other well-received books, including most recently, 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read, 10 Books That Screwed Up the World, and Answering the New Atheism (co-authored with Scott Hahn). He lives with his wife and children in Ohio.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (October 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586170163
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586170165
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.2 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #836,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book really surprised me. I had expected a strict review of my college philosophy course with a Catholic rebuttal. Instead I found an invititation to seriously consider how these individuals of the past two centuries have affected my life and the society that has molded me.
The vignettes consist of a description of each philosophy; but more importantly they focus on the individual that developed the philosophy. Being able to see what brought each one to their viewpoint and how the viewpoint developed was amazing. How seriously would we in the modern day accept some of these individuals if we had that information? Many would be dismissed like street corner prophets. Even more enlightening was learning the tangible results of their philosophies in their own lives. Definitely not a pretty picture for them then or us now.
The authors do not leave you alone without hope and reason. They point out the faultier thought processes and counteract them with Catholic teaching, mostly from the Holy Father, John Paul II.
My only regret is that they covered Freud and missed Jung.
It's a great weekend read. Would also be a wonderful gift/reference for Catholic family members to send off to school with thier new college student.
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Format: Paperback
The authors have done their research with this one! Each chapter highlights a modern thinker/philosopher who has been immortalized in our culture. Rare facts and shocking informative tidbits about pioneers like Darwin, Freud, Sanger & Kinsey challenge the reader to consider the darker side of these "architects" who have intentionally or inadvertently become apologists or defenders of eugenics, racial genetic engineering, sterilization, infanticide and sexual deviancy like bestiality and pedophelia. A plentitude of references from biographies, autobiographies and articles written by these "architects" reinforce the point and eliminate the "Catholic Bias" rebuttal. I promise any reader will come away challenging their own pre-conceived dispositions on a multitude of modern-day issues.
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This book is a collection of thumbnail sketches of major thinkers behind the culture of death. Some, like Freud, are famous; others, like Francis Galton, whose pernicious ideas about eugenics exert tremendous influence to this day, were unfamiliar to me. These sketches include a basic overview of their thought along with purely biographical information. In several cases, it becomes obvious that their personal torments formed or helped form their aberrant philosophies. This attempt to establish a causal connection between personality and philosophy is a major point the authors strive to make, thinking that in so doing they discredit the ideas themselves--an approach that may not be entirely valid philosophically but is highly interesting nonetheless. Since the sketches are roughly 20 pages long, we are only getting a superficial overview. However, the writing is crisp and provocative, definitely whetting the appetite for more. As the authors point out in their introduction, many of us blame our current problems of abortion, euthenasia, moral decay, etc. on "the Sixities" or Roe vs. Wade, not realizing that these phenomena themselves are rooted in ideas that go back two hundred years or more. To really understand how deep-rooted this culture of death is, we need to understand how we got here. This book provides excellent introduction to the whole line of thought that has wreaked such havoc on our culture.
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Format: Paperback
In light of recent reviews, it may be helpful to begin by saying what this book is not about. It is not an apologia for large families. Neither is it an attack on socialism or a defense of such alleged "major" players in the spread of capitalism as El Salvador, Panama, and "Algiers." (The reviewer who suggests this is eloquent, though I think badly deficient in his history -- but this book is not a defense of what he attacks.)

Architects of the Culture of Death describes the lives, thoughts, and influence of 23 "great thinkers" who helped make our world. These include the famous -- Nietzche, Darwin, Marx, Sartre, Freud, Margaret Mead, Kinsey, "Dr. Death," Peter Singer -- the relatively unknown, and those somewhere in between (Ayn Rand, Margaret Sanger). What they share in common is they expanded on the intellectual and Promethian tendencies of the Enlightenment, attempted to reinvent human nature, usually had troubled (or frankly perverse) personal lives, and (the authors think) made the world a much worse place. Each chapter tells an individual story, usually rather sad, and draws a moral. The stories strung together are meant to show how Western civilization moved from a "pro-life" Christian perspective, to a perspective that diminishes and disfigures humanity, ending in abortion, infanticide, sexual loneliness, and of course the totalitarian regimes of the 20th Century. But most of the lines lead towards Western secularism.

The authors are not "morons" or "idiots," as the reviewer of apocalyptic temperment suggests. They are intelligent and informed, if sometimes simplistic. I'm not sure Darwin deserves the honor of being in the company of some of the deeply sinister folks who haunt these pages.
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