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The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam's Threat to the West Hardcover – July 10, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Harris examines fanaticism with a look through history that most in the West have no understanding of. His observations of the Crusades, Fascist Germany, Stalin's USSR and other such movements are fresh insights into their ability to find common ground with current Islamists' view of the righteousness of their cause. Harris is also able to show that the West's victory over fanaticism, based upon the Enlightenment, in many ways, have given most in the West a false sense of inevitability when it comes to a generally assumed myopia that Western notions of a civilized society will somehow prevail.
Harris is never "politically correct" but usually correct about politics including the polity of Islam and the West's arrogance in thinking that they can count on their world always being the victor without having to lift a finger to win.
While I don't necessarily agree with everything Harris says in this book, it is one that everyone should read.
Another great book.
Mr. Harris does this by
1)leading the reader, step by step, through the events and thoughts that have shaped the west, and have a bearing on the situation of the US now. This is accessible to everybody, and convincing.
2)for the expert, Mr. Harris offers a unique view of all the events/thoughts as well as exploring a lot of "what ifs".
3) the language is clear and powerful.
I wish to respond to some of the reviewers who have said that they disagree with the writer on a lot of things. It seems to me that the aim of the book is to challenge everyone's ideas, or notions, about a great many things- to create a dialogue about the current situation.
I also wish to respond to reviewers who give the impression that this is about either fanaticism or Islam. To me, it is far more about the effective response by the West to fanaticism. Effectiveness, what works, is the point.
The US is in an environment which does not allow much room for error. Voters and policy makers have to do it right, and this book is a contribution to that. It also expresses points not aired in any press.
I also think that the book might have benefitted from a few footnotes and exploration of nuances in the current situation. At the same time, that would likely have detracted from the principle message, and made the book more cumbersome to read. As is, it works, and hooks the reader like the best thriller.
Mr. Harris presents an audacious account of Western evasion (and unconscious complicity through multiculturalism) of the threat of Radical Islam's Fanaticism. In doing so, he satisfies many readers who are interested to know more of this particular threat, which he might have failed to accomplish with his first work. This satisfaction may be short-lived when one confronts the enmormity and scope of the challenge for the West as Mr. Harris provides a cogent scenario for the collapse of the Western world by Fanatical Islam.
By defining the battle-lines of Enlightened West and Fanatical Islam in the clash of cultures, Mr. Harris pulls together a masterful argument for drawing these distinctions by examining the history of Reason-based societies, the mystification of Reason, the cultural-preservationism of Fanatical Islam and jihad as a tool for spreading this culture. The result is a logical account of fanaticism and jihad to explain many current events: Al-Qaeda's spectacular acts of terror against Western countries, the "cartoon riots," and the events at the "Red Mosque" in Pakistan.Read more ›
One area that he does not mention -- a point that should be raised -- is that the "tribal" violence that is always associated with Islam is endemic to its texts. According to any fair reading of the Qur'an, Allah is, among other qualities, a capricious and a hateful deity (to non-Muslims), or at least this is what Muhammad taught to his followers. For this reason, the bifurcation of all human society into Muslims and infidels is the fundamental source of most of the violence associated with Islam over the centuries, even to the present day. Of course, Harris considers this fanatacism of the worst sort, but a powerfully motivating force that continues to bind all Muslims together: Dar al Islam vs. Dar al Harb. There is no enlightenment for Islamic societies because their religious beliefs and political ideology discourage or even prohibit freethinking.
All Americans should consider Harris' views not only to evaluate the truths his analysis reveals, but also that we may better evaluate the probity and depth of understanding (or lack of) in our elected officials who are to make foreign policy that is to deal with these alien and hostile elements.
A thought-provoking and serious argument that is well worth reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My husband is thoroughly enjoying this book. I'll read it after he's done.Published 11 days ago by L. Vaught
This is a marvelous thought-provoking book.
Though published in 2007, it is impressively relevant to today
This book gave a clear delineation between Muslims and radical Muslims. It is no surprise that most Muslims want what everyone wants:good schools, a safe living situation, a job... Read morePublished 16 months ago by cooperkat10
Westerners believe in rational thought as if such were the natural way of man, but Jihadists live by an unquestioned set of rules and demand total obedience to them. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Slugg
Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it!
The politicians and media can run from, but can't hide from the truth of Radical Islam.
There are a lot of books about the tremendous danger posed by islam. Few dare to use formal logic to expose the truth about the threat posed by islam and that makes this scientific... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Lucas N.