An empathetic but awkwardly organized call for humanity to overcome an overly conservative mindset.

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A HANDBOOK FOR HUMANITY

A short but comprehensive plan for a sustainable future.

This latest book from Taylor (Embracing Reality, 2017, etc.) begins with an arresting big-picture view of the difficulty of addressing major societal problems: Humanity is, for the most part, technologically progressive and always striving to go from one mechanical advancement to the next, but it’s also often socially conservative and unwilling to embrace wholesale ideological change: “Nearly every problem that threatens civilization today,” Taylor writes, “from suicide bombings and wars—to pollution and overpopulation, can be traced directly or indirectly back to the disparity that exists between progressive technological development and conservative social behavior.” Taylor stresses that many of the world’s current difficulties, from violence to rampant environmental degradation, demand a change to the latter, or “comprehensive global interdependency and cooperation.” Over the course of this book, the author identifies organized religion as the foremost proponent of conservative social behavior. He concentrates his analysis on the three major Abrahamic religions and spends the bulk of his book providing a rational, and highly readable, logical deconstruction of such things as the Old Testament story of Noah’s flood. Taylor effectively relates his ideas with compassion; his goal doesn’t appear to be to antagonize the religious, but to convince them, and other readers, that progressive social behavior is necessary if humanity is to survive long-term. Only by embracing reason, he asserts, can humanity embrace commonality, which it must in order to face its many problems. On the whole, Taylor shows himself to be an engagingly passionate writer. However, the balance of his book feels a bit off; he does clearly address some major issues, such as overpopulation and unsustainable production of factory-farmed meat. However, because he devotes so much space to religious analysis, these and other discussions feel somewhat cursory, and thus unsatisfying.

An empathetic but awkwardly organized call for humanity to overcome an overly conservative mindset.

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-578-54644-5

Page Count: 130

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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