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Archive for the ‘NPJ Book Review’ Category

  Masks, Faces of Culture by John W. Nunley, Cara McCarty. (2000) What is it about masks that draws us to that which is concealed? Masking is ancient – entertainment, fashion, superstition, myth, war, politics, culture, ritual, religion, power, fear, joy and more. The authors begin by stating: “Masks are the most ancient means of […]

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Plagues and the Paradox of Progress – Why the world is getting healthier in worrisome ways by Thomas J Bollyky (2018) My take: In 1995 Laurie Garrett published her remarkable scholarly research on plagues/diseases in a book titled The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World out of Balance. It was a disturbing book […]

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Gandhi, An Autobiography, The story of my experiments with truth, Mahadev Desai, translator from the original in Gujarati. (1957) “I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills.”  (Carved on a wall at the Satyagraha Ashram in Ahmedabad) Mahatma Gandhi’s words and even misquotes have been repeated […]

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The Genesis of God, A Theological Genealogy by Thomas J.J. Altizer (1993) As the author, an intellectually engaging, brilliant if not radical 20th century theologian, passed away on November 28, 2018, I thought I would offer my thoughts on this particular work and not the man’s reputation. The book has been alternatively sitting on my […]

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Prisoners of Hate, The Cognitive Basis of Anger, Hostility and Violence by Aaron T. Beck, M.D. (1999) Researched and written in the late 1990’s by a leading psychiatrist this is a tightly woven look into cognitive therapy and is quite relevant today…more so with the “dazzling technological advances of our era.” These “advances (in technology) […]

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Larousse Gastronomique  The World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia  Completely Revised and Updated (2000 and 2009) A cultural and political perspective – my modest experience suggests that when you’re sitting at a table with international guests the language of discretion and pleasure would seem obvious like the food you are being served and the cooking required to […]

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The Prehistory of the Mind by Steven Mithen  (1996) The cognitive origins of art, religion and science. This work is about the evolutionary process. The author demonstrates how the human mind is a product of human evolution not a supernatural creation. I would add, it includes the ability to be inspired and to inspire. The author, […]

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Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace: Transgender and Gender-Diverse Discrimination by Alison Fogarty, Lily Zheng (2018) My read: What is the difference between sex and gender? The authors note that sex refers to the biological aspects or differences in a human being including genetics and genitalia whereas gender focuses on how a person identifies her or himself, […]

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The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy by Greg Miller (2018) My read: This is an autopsy – the brain, heart and soul of a democracy is on the examining table. I thought I knew in part what the “guts” and the “spirit” looked like during the 2016 election… BUT…Miller has caused […]

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A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn (1980, updated edition, 2015) My perspective: The elitism of wealth and power is like a cancer on a democracy. It fosters a meanness that eats away at the soul of humanity. The author focuses on the history of the under-privileged, women, children, slaves, native Americans, but […]

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Reporter: A Memoir by Seymour  M. Hersh (2018) This is a fascinating and an exceptional memoir of a reporter’s reporter. Accuracy was essential in Hersh’s life that he learned early growing up on the south side of Chicago.  Striving for a sense of personal ethics affected his writing and observations. It was the story that […]

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Strange Histories by Darren Oldridge 2005 As I delve into the assorted books remaining in my library I came across this work of unusual human practices, (other than the current news). The author offers an intriguing study of witches, angels, werewolves, heretics, persecution and local justice among people who thought they were reasonable though succumbing […]

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Heretics, The Other Side of Early Christianity by Gerd Ludemann. 1996 (English translation) As I began selling off my remaining theology and historical works including studies on ancient cultures and religions I came across this one buried under a couple dozen other books. Gerd Ludemann was a former professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School and the […]

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White House Interpreter: The Art of Interpretation by Henry Obst (2010) The author was an interpreter for seven presidents. In this very accessible read he covers five of them. The importance of this work is gaining ground considering recent foreign policy events, conferences, summits and public and private meetings between leaders and other officials of […]

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Androgyny, the opposites within by June Singer (2000) We live in the “Age of Androgyny,” not the Age of Aquarius, the author observes. To appreciate Dr. Singer’s study, it probably is a good idea to become familiar with the concepts of psychiatrist Carl Jung’s works and the construct of archetypes. Singer’s work is scholarly and verbose […]

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