A modern apologetic with appeal for like-minded readers.



Conservative writer and speaker D’Souza (The Roots of Obama’s Rage, 2010, etc.) draws on years of experience publicly debating atheists in crafting a new argument for the existence, and benevolence, of God.

Though widely sympathetic to the reasons that most atheists and agnostics have decided against faith, the author argues that too often belief against the existence of God stems primarily from a disappointment with God, which is then rationalized into unbelief. Therefore, a defense of God’s existence cannot be divorced from a sound theodicy, an explanation of why God allows pain and evil in the world. After providing a solid background in the concepts of theodicy, free will and atheist arguments as they have been formulated over centuries, the author dives into the heart of his thesis. We live, D’Souza argues, in a world, and a universe, made for humans. In such a world we necessarily encounter positives and negatives. Tectonic plates are seemingly unique to earth, and their slow movements are necessary for life as they create and regulate carbon dioxide on a global scale. The downside? They create earthquakes that sometimes take innocent lives. Water is a foundation to the existence of life. The downside? Floods, which cause extensive damage and lost lives. D’Souza argues this is not proof that God doesn’t care; instead, he asks, what alternative would we prefer? His argument climaxes with the anthropic principle, which points to the tremendous level of chance necessary to create a universe that would lead to life at all, let alone to the existence of humans, as proof that there is a creator. The author is erudite, accessible and clear, and he offers a tremendously wide range of sources. However, he has entered a realm in which no one can be entirely pleased or convinced. Fundamentalists will not like his acceptance of evolution or an “old” universe, while other readers will wince at conclusions like, “While animals feel pain, they do not suffer.”

A modern apologetic with appeal for like-minded readers.

Pub Date: Feb. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4143-2485-2

Page Count: 290

Publisher: Tyndale House

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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