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Showing 1-10 of 40 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 54 reviews
on March 27, 2017
This is the foundation work of political science. Niebuhr's emphasis of selfishness in any social group is now a key tenet of realism. His critical stance on love, morality and benevolence in group thinking is provocative and still relevant. The chapters on the mentality of the privileged class and the inevitability of social inequality are highly persuasive. This book is certainly a must-read for all.
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on July 18, 2017
Hard to read but a good challenge for my mind. Interesting guy. Glad we have more books of his to read.
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on December 12, 2016
Works as expected.
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on August 16, 2017
Brilliant
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on November 29, 2012
Moral Man and Immoral Society has been rated by Christianity Today to be the 10th most important Christian book of the last 100 years. Published in 1932 (during the great depression)it is perhaps the most historically influential work on the subject of Ethics.

Niebuhr says, "The inferiority of the morality of groups to that of individuals is due in part to the difficulty of establishing a rational social force which is powerful enough to cope with the natural impulses by which society achieves its cohesion....,"

So, Individuals seem to be moral, but when they are a part of a group, religious or political, they become influenced by their own self-interest and desire to see their group maintain dominance - injustice follows.

Niebuhr says that reason and religion are not enough to keep a society moral because as groups we become irrational and self-protecting. A group's power must be met with a dissenting group's power in order to keep society more just and moral.
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on September 16, 2013
Excellent kindle addition.

It seemed like more words were spent constructing a moral rational for violence than what I expected from the title, the ways in which morality of groups is different than morality of individuals.

To summarize his view on morality - Because we cannot fathom the whole of humanity our loyalty will be to a group. The highest form of altruism will be to sacrifice for a group. If it is in the interest of a group to coerce another group then the individuals in that first group will feel loyal and altruistic and moral coercing another group.

His defense of violence is simply that he sees non-violent coercion as morally no different than violent coercion. In his mind justice, by which he seems to mean equality, should be the primary goal of society not peace.

It is very timely for today, September 2013, as both McCain and Obama, who are promoting violence in Syria, have claimed, in the past, that Niebuhr has influence in their thinking.
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on May 10, 2017
Deep! Loved the documentary on PBS! That is the reason I wanted the book. A must for all high schools and colleges in American History. Thank you.
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on May 8, 2017
This is a Niebuhr classic I have read more than once. It shines a bright light on the fundamental immorality of the way our government has been distorted mostly by GOP politicians. If anything, the problems Niebuhr was discussing in the 1940's are even worse at this present moment.
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on December 21, 2013
Need to read it slow but you will be better for it. Explains a lot about the totalitarian "PC" group-think that is permeating our society. The Dewey puppets would be wise to read this; might give them some understanding as to why they think the way they do.
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on April 20, 2017
This book was not in very good condition. More like acceptable.
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