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The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism Paperback – October 25, 2011
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—Robin Fox, Rutgers University
"Impressive and stimulating. A tremendously enjoyable work."
—James Fallows, national correspondent for the Atlantic
"The Genius of the Beast is a tour de force."
"In this recapitulation of the universe’s evolutionary thrust—and humanity’s part of it—Howard Bloom proves to be a provocative, even an inspiring, thinker."
"Engrossing, uplifting, and educational . . . fascinating."
—Monsters and Critics
"I really could not put it down. Ultimately, I found the book a tremendously optimistic, motivating, exciting read that I look forward to tackling again."
"Capitalism does indeed work, scholar Bloom boldly affirms in this at-once brash and well-considered treatise, in which, in his own words, he applies a new lens to viewing the entire course of Western civilization. . . . The problem . . . [lies] in the way capitalism has come to be viewed. This long, provocative, needs-to-be-read book seeks to rectify that situation. What he explains here, in detailed arguments, is that ‘capitalism and the Western system hide astonishing abilities.’ Spend time with this eye-opener."
"Riveting, brilliant, remarkable, distressing, optimistic, and beautifully written. A brilliant . . . history of the world."
—Michael Zilkha, CEO of Zilkha Biomass Energy
"Get this book and read it. Bloom’s assessments are thoughtful and inspiring. Thank you, Howard Bloom; you have bridged generations and thoughts and tied together facts that otherwise would have gone unnoticed."
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Bloom is described somewhere in the multiple blurbs all over this book as a marketing genius, and that's what I'll happily take him as. As a revolutionary thinker? His argument boils down to "Technology will save us", nothing I haven't read anywhere before.
What is exceptional about the book is the way Bloom hypes his ideas. He's broadly read, and seems to enjoy synthesizing ideas from a variety of specializations and making them his own.
The book is conceived in a series of 'mini' chapters, each of which present one idea simply, and then, in a snowball effect, Bloom rolls them all together.
Personally, I found his insanely over-amped style (which is reflected in the tone of some of the other reviews here) to be counter-productive. Like the language of brilliant advertising, it's there to gloss over something.
However, on the positive side, Bloom is clearly a positive and ambitious thinker, not to be dismissed.
As far as errors are concerned, the book has a complete misunderstanding of biology which Bloom claims helps to explain the cycle of boom/bust in a human economy. I'm a biologist, so these errors jump out at me, and I shudder to think about the number of errors in the rest of the book that I didn't pick up because they related to other fields of expertise. For example, Bloom goes on for an entire chapter about the Dictyostelium slime mold, yet continuously calls it a bacterium (which it is not, and is like writing about dogs and calling them snails). He also has no idea about the biological role of microtubules inside the cell, yet uses their inherent dynamic instability (but a small bit of their cellular function) to try and explain worldwide economies. These and his honeybee and evolution analogies show that he has no understanding about these topics besides what he managed to glean from reading one or two magazine articles about them (including references in the back to primary literature doesn't mean he read or understood them). And if he did understand them, then letting these errors into his prose suggests he doesn't care about accuracy but only in furthering his thesis (SPOILER: which is that capitalism is good. No idea how this makes it a radical re-vision of the topic).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book fascinating, and it has inspired me to learn more about the longing for status as a primal motivator in homo sapiens. Read morePublished 4 months ago by William Dais
Howard Bloom has very profound ideas. I bless him for his courage and insight.Published 19 months ago by P. J. Janes
The book takes a position that parallels can be drawn between nature and economics. That might have some validity but not as Bloom draws them. Read morePublished 19 months ago by BRUCE E ARNOLD
capitalism re-invented into a mechanism for evolution? Really? Really!! This book should be on your list of books I absolutly have to readPublished 21 months ago by Dean Jones
It was difficult to read the first chapters of this book because of the scientific (biology, physics) language used by the author about a subject that is more related to a social... Read morePublished on July 14, 2014 by MartyD
Although Bloom assures us he was thrown out of the Boy Scouts, his tome reminds me powerfully of Edwin the Boy Scout, who, Wodehouse informs us, ‘was one of those thorough kids,... Read morePublished on May 4, 2014 by Anna Tambour