The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great

The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great

America has a God-shaped hole in its heart, argues New York Times bestselling author Ben Shapiro, and we shouldn't fill it with politics and hate. In 2016, Ben Shapiro spoke at UC Berkeley. Hundreds of police officers were required from 10 UC campuses across the state to protect his speech, which was -- ironically -- about the necessity for free speech and rational debate...

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Title:The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great
Author:Ben Shapiro
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The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great Reviews

  • Jeanette

    This review is beyond my ability to adequately describe the thoroughness and point to point focus over historical periods for homo sapiens' individual and collective cores for their own existence and rules of/for behaviors.

    In one point in particular, this finally made me understand the huge differences between two massive Revolutions that happened mere 3 short years apart (American and French) and why they evinced such alternative approaches within both processes and outcomes.

    If you have taken

    This review is beyond my ability to adequately describe the thoroughness and point to point focus over historical periods for homo sapiens' individual and collective cores for their own existence and rules of/for behaviors.

    In one point in particular, this finally made me understand the huge differences between two massive Revolutions that happened mere 3 short years apart (American and French) and why they evinced such alternative approaches within both processes and outcomes.

    If you have taken few or many philosophy classes- you will benefit for this read. Regardless of what studies re those that support your own gifts received from both Jerusalem and Athens or either or neither. Especially if you are of the core belief that passion, feelings or instincts often rule well for general good or collective purposes.

    The 4 elements of human society, interchange criteria that are essential for the homo sapiens "better"!

    I've guessed what the empty hole of needy void and incessant angst filled anger of the most "lucky" presently comes from; it's become much worse in the last 20 years. But I never could begin to posit and define the what and why of all that observable scowl reaction perception. Ben can in this succinct and exact work of historical/ philosophical Western civilization "structural moral law vs reasoning" history as components in the mix.

    Read this. If only for the placements and exact recordings of what the history of collective as power have wrought. Or if you want to grasp all the essence of the Founding Fathers ideas for a governance of individual rights with built in protections against the top down powers.

  • Brian Popp

    In The Right Side of History, Ben Shapiro gives a stirring defense of the enduring truth found in the philosophy of our founding fathers. In this compact book he manages also to give a high level overview of the entire history of western thought that will be sufficient to understand the "big ideas" of the various contributors and also be good starting point for those who want to dig deeper.

    In these turbulent times we are often hyper-focused on the "right now"; this book in my opinion helps us u

    In The Right Side of History, Ben Shapiro gives a stirring defense of the enduring truth found in the philosophy of our founding fathers. In this compact book he manages also to give a high level overview of the entire history of western thought that will be sufficient to understand the "big ideas" of the various contributors and also be good starting point for those who want to dig deeper.

    In these turbulent times we are often hyper-focused on the "right now"; this book in my opinion helps us understand the broader context of our times. This was my first experience reading Ben Shapiro, and I was impressed at the seriousness of this book. A good read; would definitely recommend to people on the right and left alike.

  • Yelizaveta Makhatadze

    I can’t believe I just gave a 5 star rating to my ideological opponent’s book, but it it well deserved.

    You don’t have to agree with everything written to derive tremendous value from it.

  • Daddy-O

    Shapiro’s title for The Right Side of History was a little off-putting when I first saw it announced. Being so steeped in studying the philosophical presumptions of contemporary progressivism, as Shapiro certainly is, I tend to conflate the rhetoric of “progress” and the titular “right side of history” with Marx’s delusions of historical materialism and the inevitability of a Communist future. On the contrary, Marx co-opted these ideas from religious teleology and transformed them into his philo

    Shapiro’s title for The Right Side of History was a little off-putting when I first saw it announced. Being so steeped in studying the philosophical presumptions of contemporary progressivism, as Shapiro certainly is, I tend to conflate the rhetoric of “progress” and the titular “right side of history” with Marx’s delusions of historical materialism and the inevitability of a Communist future. On the contrary, Marx co-opted these ideas from religious teleology and transformed them into his philosophy of conceit. Like with so many other ideas in this book, Shapiro helped me recognize the Judeo-Christian foundation that we either take for granted or forget.

    Midway through the book I was a little disappointed. It had begun to read like an Introduction to Western Philosophy Lite. Having already read a book overview of Western thought that Shapiro quotes twice, The Passion of the Western Mind written by my uncle, a lot of the middle chapters were rather dull review. However, things get interesting when we get to the French Revolution. From here, Shapiro adds his own flair and covers a lot of influential ideas that would be dismissed by other history authors. Most engagingly, he covers the philosophical foundations of the great 20th century despots and allows the reader to recognize that those same philosophical foundations are still very much present in our contemporary thought. Do we have many eugenicists preaching about the necessity of sterilizing and/or slaughtering certain groups of people? No, but now we have the mainstream Left preaching about the moral necessity of murdering diseased children in the womb. Do we have many Nazis preaching about the need for living space and the supremacy of the German race? No, but now we have authoritarian population-alarmists and, well, Intersectionality. The list goes on, and really a lot of the same tyrannical philosophies from Bismarck to Lenin to Woodrow Wilson go relatively unchanged in contemporary politics.

    As a whole, Shapiro has produced a great Conservative manifesto. Did I expect that? No, I expected a study in God’s teleology of history. A pleasant surprise for me: I got both—the two are intertwined. Shapiro lays out a case for moral preservation: what made the West great and what has made our lives the most free and prosperous of all history is the tradition of Jerusalem and Athens. What do the activists of Intersectionality , Marxism, the Alt Right, and general Progressivism want to tear down? The tradition of Jerusalem and Athens. The stance of Conservatism is to conserve, as Bill Buckley wrote, “A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.” Shapiro—and hopefully the reader—will continue to take that stand athwart history.

  • Jerrid Kruse

    I wanted to like this book. I believe the judeo-Christian tradition to be a powerful framework to guide our living. However, the book was filled with logical fallacies, false equivalencies, spurious correlations, half truths, and cherry picking of ideas. For example, the author repeatedly makes causal claims based only on the fact that one event happened before the other. He believes the enlightenment was only possible with judeo-Christian values, but ignores the scientific advancement of non-Eu

    I wanted to like this book. I believe the judeo-Christian tradition to be a powerful framework to guide our living. However, the book was filled with logical fallacies, false equivalencies, spurious correlations, half truths, and cherry picking of ideas. For example, the author repeatedly makes causal claims based only on the fact that one event happened before the other. He believes the enlightenment was only possible with judeo-Christian values, but ignores the scientific advancement of non-European civilizations. He consistently misrepresents the arguments of the left. In one example, he critiques intersectionality with a clear misunderstanding of the construct. Other times he dismisses logic other than his own a priori and provides no explanation and seems to fundamentally misunderstand the role of premises in formulating coherent logic. His mishandling of basic logic is exemplified by his spending so much time creating straw men of his opposition that he forgot to argue for his premise. It seems the author has strung together a line of thinking that will resonate very well with those who uncritically nod along. I suppose that is one way to sell a lot of books. Luckily I read mine from that left wing socialist non-Christian institution that is ruining our country called a library.

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