Book review: “True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements” by Eric Hoffer

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.

Book review: “The Red Tent” by Anita Diamant

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.

Book review: “Hitler: Ascent” by Volker Ullrich

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.

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