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Archive for the ‘NPJ Book Review’ Category

NPJ Book Review – Desert Wisdom by Neil Douglas-Klotz (1995) This is a thought-provoking, scholarly and very accessible study of “Sacred Middle Eastern Writings from the Goddess through the Sufis.” The writings include translations, commentaries and body prayers. The author strives to “cover both wisdom and spiritual practice from the native Middle Eastern tradition.” It’s […]

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Arab and Jew, Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land, Revised & Updated by David K. Shipler (2015) Some works are read over weeks and not days. This is one of those journeys. It’s a substantial, poignant, disturbing, accessible work that reads like a journal. It’s in the category for which Pulitzers are given and been […]

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The Philosophy of the Bed by Mary Eden and Richard Carrington (1961) I’ve been reading this book while sleeping in different hotel beds. This is one of those books I classify as a gem and I brought along from my personal library for some insights into the sensuality and the realities of the bed throughout history. […]

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Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech by Cass R. Sunstein 1995 Sunstein’s work is a reference tool to be intellectually chewed in morsels and one is provoked to think about applying James Madison’s constitutional thoughts about free speech and democracy. The words of the First Amendment remain essentially as articulated in the draft of the […]

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Citizens, A Chronicle of the French Revolution by Simon Schama (1989) “In some depressing sense, violence was the revolution itself,” Schama states in the opening pages. Simon Schama’s work comes across as that of an expert devoted to his subject and guided by the opinions and ideas of the day in streets of Paris, France […]

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The Manipulated Mind by Denise Winn (2000) This in an interesting book if one is seeking to know more about elementary aspects of mind control and social conditioning. There are any number of ideas built into the framework of the author’ discussion the least of which is, what do we mean by free will? That […]

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NPJ Book Review: Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, translated by David R. Slavitt (2008) This is one of several, and my preferred translation, of this brief but substantial work between a man, awaiting execution in the year 524, and his intimate yet dispassionate conversation with an imaginary woman, Lady Philosophy. Boethius was a Roman patrician, […]

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The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1794, 1795 Parts 1 & 2) Written during the era that was characterized by scientific and philosophical enlightenment, war and revolution and moral and theological shifts among other things, Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense along with other pamphlets wrote in the voice of the common person. There […]

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 The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt (1958) Hannah Arendt is an acquired taste. I periodically reread books that I’ve read in the past to see if I read something different in a work the second time around. Arendt’s writings in my opinion are provocative from a political, philosophical and sociological perspective but once acquired one […]

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Critical Reflections on the Paranormal, Eds, Michael Stoeber and Hugo Meynell (1996) Gathering dust on my shelf I decided to reread this slender scholarly work. Though studied by academics since the late 1800s with the founding of the Society for Psychical Research in London in 1882 and in the United States in 1885, the critical […]

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The Argument Culture, Moving from Debate to Dialogue by Deborah Tannen (1998) Written almost twenty years ago the author sought to tackle in an original voice,  “the pervasive warlike atmosphere that makes us approach public dialogue, and just about anything we accomplish, as if it were a fight.” The author maintained, “…in the argument culture, […]

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The Money Cult, Capitalism, Christianity and the Unmaking of the American Dream by Chris Lehman Much has written about the interweave of Christianity (especially Protestantism, capitalism, the industrial revolution and the American Dream). Several historians have tackled the subject such as John Kenneth Galbraith though few theologians have perused the subject in-depth without apology though […]

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My Life and Times by Henry Miller, (1971) I’ve found the weekend a good time to read Henry Miller. Having read the Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer at a younger age, along with Erica Jong on Henry Miller, The Devil at Large, I thought I had pretty good insight into this remarkable and […]

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Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It) by Elizabeth Anderson (2017) This is a book that’s been long overdue. Anderson offers a scholarly and thought-provoking study of how corporate America is a form of private government. She discusses how the average employee in the private sector acts as if […]

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Forbidden Knowledge, From Prometheus to Pornography by Roger Shattuck (1996) My perspective: Seeking moral clarity can be an unsettling journey. This interestingly written 1990’s study is an acquired taste. Who decides what is forbidden, on whose behalf and upon what authority? This is a provocative work though at times feels intellectually disjointed and on the […]

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