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Help: The Original Human Dilemma by [Keizer, Garret]

Help: The Original Human Dilemma Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 298 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This eloquent inquiry into how humans help or do not help one another ranges widely in philosophical issues. A former Episcopal priest, Keizer (The Enigma of Anger: Essays on a Sometimes Deadly Sin) offers no panaceas or programs for becoming a better or happier person. Instead, he presents well-written, irreverent and perceptive essays that examine why humans offer assistance and how that assistance is accepted. Drawing on examples from religion, literature, history and personal experience, he delves into a number of very different giving experiences. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, for example, assistance is spontaneously given, but in a limited manner that doesn't involve a long-term commitment. To illustrate how help can backfire, Keizer recalls how Norman Mailer helped to gain parole for convicted killer Jack Abbott, an aspiring writer, who, once released, went on to murder again. Keizer recounts, at length, the familiar tale of the French town of Le Chambon, which sheltered Jews from the Nazis. Many who were hidden never returned to thank their rescuers—not out of ingratitude, Keizer says, but because to revisit the town would have meant reliving a time of unspeakable horror. Keizer's provocative essays on the limits and contradictions of giving are refreshingly nonjudgmental. "Help is a part of our humanity," he concludes, but "its paradoxes define us" as well.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Altruism, that capacity to do unto others whether or not they would similarly do unto you, is examined from wide-ranging anthropological and philosophical viewpoints by an author who brings fresh perspectives and thought-provoking insights to this frequently misinterpreted human, and nonhuman, imperative. Keizer takes a philosophical approach by analyzing situational ethics that confront individuals on a daily basis. Often framing his arguments within the context of the biblical story of the Good Samaritan, Keizer contends that the nature of one human being's desire to assist another is a complex one, not always as selfless as it seems, and not always as effective as it is intended to be. Given today's extraordinary global challenges, altruism as a moral mandate is more critical than ever yet may be harder to achieve. Books such as Keizer's can help readers understand how we can develop unselfish attitudes, change our behavior, and pave the way to bringing about universal benefits. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • File Size: 803 KB
  • Print Length: 298 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0060560622
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Publication Date: October 27, 2009
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SR2Q6E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,018,516 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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