Following the storming of the Capitol this week, I chose to pull out Hoffer's "True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements." Definitely has a lot of explanatory power, but Hoffer strikes me as a pessimist. It left me with the impression all mass movements, regardless of their ideals, are inherently evil.
Retelling the events of Genesis from the perspective the daughter of Jacob, Dinah, The Red Tent is both beautiful and harsh. Dinah's tragic story is recounted in Genesis 34. Dinah is taken to wife by a Canaanite prince. Her brothers, the sons of Jacob do not take kindly to this, and slaughter the entire city in retribution. I feel like I haven't fully seen this chapter, as we usually pass by the uncomfortable parts of the Bible in Sunday School. From an LDS perspective, our efforts to liken the scriptures unto ourselves may blind us to how utterly different the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was practiced. The book clearly relies on much research to try to recreate the setting, but also has to use some creative license to weave together this stunning tale.
A Jew, a knights Templar, and a sultan walk into a bar... Perhaps a modern version of Nathan the Wise would begin like that. Written by the Enlightenment figure G. E. Lessing in response to a fight with his pastor, Lessing's play still feels very much relevant today.
My partner is finishing up her second novel in the Rise of the Fomori series, and I got an insider look at the manuscript while it's still in progress! Here is my review
In I-It relationships, you treat others something to be used, as means to your own ends. In I-Thou relationships, you encounter another being as unique and unlimited as yourself.
Richard Bushman analyzed Joseph Smith's claims of authority as prophet through the lens of Max Weber's concept of political legitimacy. So I went straight to the source and read Politik als Beruf in the original German!
Rabbi Sacks' last book "Morality" is a deeply moving call to action to rediscover our shared responsibility to one another. If COVID-19 teaches us anything, it is that we need each other and our actions have direct consequences on those around us.
A political outsider with a mass following comes to the top post in the nation at the invitation of an embattled party wanting to ride on his popular appeal. They are convinced they can control him, but woefully miscalculate. Sound familiar? I picked up Volker Ullrich's recent biography of Adolf Hitler, wanting to understand all the details that led to the fall of Weimar Germany's democracy. In this first volume of a three-part biography, Ullrich covers Hitler's beginnings as transient artist to political agitator to chancellor of Germany.
It is an absolute pleasure to read Midnight Sun just to cringe at it. But I am here to make it even cringier! I'm sure they have been WAY too many Twilight metaphors, but I'm adding one more to the pile: behold, Twilight through the lens of my gay Mormon religious trauma.