A Criminal History of Mankind Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- File size : 2070 KB
- Publication date : May 17, 2015
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 903 pages
- ASIN : B087WVBJ5W
- Publisher : Diversion Books (May 17, 2015)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #917,386 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Wilson takes us from ancient Sumer on through the Greek city-states, illuminating the decline of Athens along the way, and on to Rome, the rise of Christianity (and how it lost its way as well), to Mohammed and the rise (yes, and fall) of Islam, to Luther and Calvin and the splintering of Christianity (which allowed a new world of freedom of thought ironically) and into the games and contests of Europe's kings that brought us to today's world. And now we're back to crime and the patterns of crime and how this is a miniature of the larger picture of the history it plays out against.
Finally Wilson looks at what can be done to bring us to a saner world, one where crime is finally seen as a failed attempt to satisfy man's needs (a la Maslow) and we all can live fulfilling lives without being a threat to each other.
Although he has passed on, his insights into the motives and motivations of men either in power or striving for it could unlock the mess we find ourselves in here at the beginning of the Twenty First Century.
This is a book that all should read. I am definitely passing it on to my own children and to theirs as well.
The author explains why people were so incredibly savage for so many centuries. To my mind, fixing the problem may take many more unless we get another jump in evolution at another point in history, as he discusses happened in the past, although he couldn't explain how it happened. I don't believe any conventional materialist could. I have my own ideas about that, but it requires thinking outside the box . Even so, compared to people of the past, we seem light years ahead civilization-wise right now.
You can't read this book fast, but it is well worth the trouble. I will never forget what I read here and will keep it as a permanent reference book in my library. I wish everyone would or could read it.
The in time periods covered it is a phenomenal resource.
Top reviews from other countries
In some ways I think this title is reductive – yes there is a lot of crime in here and how different types of crime came into being as mankind evolved and civilisations developed (sex crime is a relatively recent crime) and its explained how it all came about but this feels more of a general (and rip roaring) history of the world via all the famous murders, writers, Kings, Queens, Popes, visionary’s, philosophers, wars. Religion and guru’s (the Renaissance is my favourite bit) It is quite simply the best book (not fiction) I have ever read*
*favourite fiction book - Rebecca - best fiction - The Sea the Sea
This isn't just a look at the criminal elements of history though, he also shows how the major religions developed, which I found invaluable when trying to understand what's going on in the world right now. For instance how Christianity took off as a spiritual alternative to the corrupt materialism of the Romans ... and then quickly grew as corrupt itself. How Islam was founded, and all the complex factions contained therein. It's a startling fact that most religions in the world can't seem to avoid squabbling amongst themselves.
Aside from religion, he shows us the antics of some of the most evil men in history, and the swathe of killing they indulged themselves in, which beggars belief even in this cynical age, for instance the carnage wrecked by Tamarlane is quite gobsmacking. He explains to us The Right Man syndrome, how some men (and to a lesser extent women) become so crazed by their own egos that they defy any rationale, which has been responsible for some of the most outrageous crimes and mass murders ever committed.
At times the endless litany of murder, torture and corruption seems to depress even the author. He admits that philosophers are pessimistic by nature, because they see no end to Mankind's faults, as Mankind constantly makes the same mistakes over and over again (power corrupts being the most constant one), and yet Wilson also points to many crucial stages in our evolution, where good came out of the evil, and allowed us to advance significantly, which is the kind of optimism we need to hang onto.
In some ways I feel this book could just as easily have been called "An Alternative History of Mankind". I feel quite strongly that it should be standard reading matter in schools, but somehow I doubt it will be!