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.
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!
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.
I chose to read *Saving Faith* by John Gee because I knew I would strongly disagree with it. I don't usually do that with the books I read in my free time, but this one touched a chord as a gay Latter-Day Saint and a survivor of sexual abuse.
Stevens was a top Republican campaign strategist for many state and national elections, including Bush and Romney. His thesis: Trump isn't an aberration of the Republican party; he is its culmination. What happened to balancing the budget? Small government? Personal responsibility instead of playing the victim? Character counts? These principles that were supposedly the bedrock of the Republican party were abandoned over night when Trump was elected.
Hayek and Chesterton gave me a healthy skepticism of expert opinion, but the fact still stands: we do ourselves a disservice when we refuse to listen to our experts. In the era of COVID-19, we are seeing battle lines drawn yet again. Tom Nichols' book is an excellent look at where we went wrong.