The Right Side of History

The Right Side of History

How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great

Book - 2019
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Now a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

Human beings have never had it better than we have it now in the West. So why are we on the verge of throwing it all away?

In 2016, New York Times bestselling author Ben Shapiro spoke at the University of California-Berkeley. Hundreds of police officers were required to protect his speech. What was so frightening about Shapiro? He came to argue that Western civilization is in the midst of a crisis of purpose and ideas; that we have let grievances replace our sense of community and political expediency limit our individual rights; that we are teaching our kids that their emotions matter more than rational debate; and that the only meaning in life is arbitrary and subjective.

As a society, we are forgetting that almost everything great that has ever happened in history happened because of people who believed in both Judeo-Christian values and in the Greek-born power of reason. In The Right Side of History, Shapiro sprints through more than 3,500 years, dozens of philosophers, and the thicket of modern politics to show how our freedoms are built upon the twin notions that every human being is made in God's image and that human beings were created with reason capable of exploring God's world.

We can thank these values for the birth of science, the dream of progress, human rights, prosperity, peace, and artistic beauty. Jerusalem and Athens built America, ended slavery, defeated the Nazis and the Communists, lifted billions from poverty, and gave billions more spiritual purpose. Jerusalem and Athens built America, ended slavery, defeated the Nazis and the Communists, lifted billions from poverty, and gave billions more spiritual purpose.

Yet we are in the process of abandoning Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, watching our civilization collapse into age-old tribalism, individualistic hedonism, and moral subjectivism. We believe we can satisfy ourselves with intersectionality, scientific materialism, progressive politics, authoritarian governance, or nationalistic solidarity.

We can't.

The West is special, and in The Right Side of History, Ben Shapiro bravely explains how we have lost sight of the moral purpose that drives each of us to be better, the sacred duty to work together for the greater good,.

Publisher: New York, NY : Broadside Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780062857903
Branch Call Number: 306.0973 SHAPIRO
Characteristics: xxvii, 256 pages ; 24 cm


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Jul 03, 2019

"So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence."
Bertrand Russell
further reading:
“That’s Not What They Meant : Reclaiming the Founding Fathers From America's Right Wing”
Michael Austin
Prometheus Books 2012, pbk, 253 pages
ISBN-10: 1616146702, ISBN-13: 978-1616146702
“Enlightenment Now : The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress”
Steven A. Pinker 1954-
Viking 2018, hc, 576 pages
ISBN-10: 9780525427575, ISBN-13: 978-0525427575
“Fixing America : Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Rule, Big Media, and the Religious Right”
John Buchanan (author), John McConnell (foreword)
Trine Day 2005, pbk, 270 pages
ISBN-10: 0975290681, ISBN-13: 978-0975290682
“Imagine There's No Heaven : How Atheism Helped Create the Modern World”
by Mitchell Stephens
St. Martin's Press (Feb. 25 2014, hc, 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1137002603, ISBN-13: 978-1137002600
“Wrong and Dangerous : Ten Right Wing Myths about Our Constitution”
Garrett Epps
Rowan & Littlefield Publishers 2012
ISBN-10: 144221676X, ISBN-13: 978-1442216761

Jul 03, 2019

The author does a basic survey of western history and the main pillars which built it. That being two great ancient cities.....Athens and Jerusalem. Athens which gave us reason, and Jerusalem which gave us our spiritual and moral framework (the Judeo-Christian worldview). That those two influences worked to compliment one another to form western civilization, and eventually the United States which is the freest and most prosperous nation on earth.

Early on he makes the case for the pillars which built our modern society, but ask the question why are we being so foolish to screw this good thing up?!

He states that America is essentially running on the fumes of what built our society but we're heading towards a serious fall. We reject reason and objective truth in favor of emotionalism and subjectivism. We reject individual rights in favor of mob rule and collectivism. We reject God and the powerful foundational idea that all people are made in God's image.

The author points out that there are many nations on earth blessed with resources for great wealth, but that is not enough. Its the ideals and morality of western civilization that has made the west great, not it's resources. That if we erode these ideals we will bring ourselves to ruin.

In the end his solution for how we can fix this just doesn't go far enough with me, and that's the only thing I didn't like in the book. The west is literally committing suicide.....from elementary schools to our elite universities we have stripped our history down to a bare bones starvation diet. Our young people don't know how awesome their own history is, and sadly this has been by design since the days of John Dewey. We don't have a perfect history, who does, but we have a very remarkable story.

All in all I loved this book, it's probably my favorite read of 2019. Whatever your political persuasion..... I highly recommend it.

May 18, 2019

Great read

May 08, 2019

This book is based on pure fantasy. The author obviously has never read a real history book.

May 04, 2019

Shapiro traces the ideas that form the foundation of Western civilization (religion and reason), and how those ideas have been eroded over time, culminating in the current political climate (no religion, reason is subjective).

Broad and thought provoking.

Apr 18, 2019

If you've watched any of his youtube videos, then this book probably isn't necessary. Fear-mongering and propaganda in his carefully veiled "hey, I'm just telling that truth that most people are too scared to speak" style. Nothing new to see here folks.

Apr 17, 2019

Yet another amazingly fashioned novel by Ben. Five out of five.

Apr 11, 2019

This book is a wonderfully crafted, thought provoking piece. It perfectly blends theology and philosophy into a message of purpose and meaning that supports the main point.


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