I’m pleasantly surprised with the intensity of passion and diversity of opinion from the reviewers who posted their comments here. It is an affirmation of what the author of this book is saying. The heart of American patriotism lies in our self proclaimed right to express ourselves. Right or wrong, Americans have had the strong will to stand up and take action. This book is an account of that American will. I highly recommend this read. We have a unique history. I chuckled at the account of how Europeans considered American colonists to be unrefined and lack class. As pioneers we have never dressed to impress. Our culture is rooted in a pragmatic approach to living, with special emphasis on the rights of the individual. Americans think differently than the rest of the world. History helps us recognize why. We protect our social freedoms and economic security with a 230 year old political system of checks and balances, laws, not kings, or dictators. Americans trust that system of laws where so many other nations have self destructed with violence. We don’t live in a perfect world. This book does not propagandize us as such. Mistakes and injustices are exposed. Men of genius and character are recognized. And just for the record, I am not of the politically right. I was not offended by this author’s perspective. My interest was kept as he explained how we created a system to challenge the unjust, employ reason and critical thinking to self analyze, to right the wrongs, to blunder, admit it, and pick ourselves back up, to be cautious when it came to starting the fight, but recognize when the time is right to come together with formidable strength to protect what we all know to be “self evident truths”. With eyes wide open, republican conservative, or liberal democrat, we are all patriots.
The PFC, temporal lobes, limbic system, basal ganglia, and everyone's secret monster, the cingulate gyrus, these are your brain's systems that control human behavior. This book will teach you where the problems originate. The biology of psychosomatic disorders is controversial. If you've ever lived with a loved one whose behavior made them their own worst enemy, and your worst nightmare, you know there is nothing controversial about needing a solution. Troubleshoot dysfunctions is more of an art than a science using only behavioral feedback. A psychiatrist gets an hour to diagnose your spouse or your child. You get a lifetime. Adults are rarely honest with themselves, let alone being honest with a psychiatrist. That's why you need this book. The better informed you are, the better prepared you are to ask the right questions, and offer up applicable feedback. This book helps with checklists that help determine the area of the brain most likely to be causing the behavioral issues. Amen uses pre and post SPECT scans, brain imaging, to back up his diagnosis and treatment plans. He discusses specific case studies of behavioral dynamics in dysfunctional relationships and families, both before and after treatment. I found several of his examples enlightening. I've criticized "real" psychiatrists because they can't produce test results to validate diagnosis and evaluate treatment of "chemical imbalance". Amen's SPECT scans sound like the way to go, with before and after scan data in conjunction with therapy that appears to be working or more importantly, appears not to be. The American Psychiatric Association says "evidence does not support the use of brain imaging". That doesn't stop the Amen Clinics from offering them. What it does stop is your insurance carrier from paying for it. The insurance carriers are in charge of treatment. Become better informed. Read this book and any like it.
Every now and then you come across a book like this with many "ah ha" moments in it. Simply awesome! To finally understand the awkward moments and strange behaviors in others and in ourselves, Social Intelligence maps the why and what-on-earth-were-you-thinking areas of the brain that cause human beings to do the things they do. This book is worth many listens.
This is an awesome book about the music business, where it's been, and where it's going. A lot of deep dark secrets are revealed here in how the corporatization of rock 'n roll corrupted the music, ripped off the performers, cheated the fans, and battled the technology that threatened corporate profiteering. Robert Johnson may have made a deal with the devil at the crossroads, but our favorite musicians and singers didn't do much better with the record label companies. Those who were lucky enough to be "signed" found themselves in a corporate profit machine, manufacturing music as a product. First it was 45s and LPs. Then came CDs. We consumers made those corporate devils rich. But this is changing as we speak. So before you buy another CD, get this book. If you're a musician, composer, or performer, this book is a must read for your future.
Blankley offers up some clever rationalizations for Americans and Europeans to feel justified in holding on to their ethnic and cultural bigotry. Early on he asks the question, Is Islam incompatible with democracy in that in a democracy, the will of man decides over the will of god? And according to the Qur'an, a true Islamic state is governed by the will of god, the will of Allah. That won't do for us. No more videos of The Love Boat guys. They hate our freedoms, and our way of life. Yes he quotes George Bush. He even advocates a declaration of war, a religious crusade against Islamic Jihad calling on all those in the sleeping religious right to rise up and finish the job the admirable president Bush started. Preserve our Judeo Christian values and to hell with political correctness, and to hell with the French too. He falls short of scape-goating the Jews and praising the Arian race. But replace militant Moslem with Jew, and his rhetoric sounds a lot like the rise of Nazi nationalism in the 30's. Credibility is lost when he defends his ideology with the shameful historical precedent of American incarceration of Japanese American citizens during WWII based totally on their ethnic background, not rule of law. He insults journalists on the left who unlike him, do back up their points with documented fact, not fear. Then out comes the bible to rally around, for unlike those decadent atheist Europeans, Americans are people of faith. This is just another Christian fascist's load of propaganda that ironically preaches the same kind of bigotry and hate that challenges the darkest corners of the world. Don't buy it. We are a better people than this.
This is one of those books you will never forget, and a book you will recommend just to have someone to discuss it with. I love history and this definitely qualifies as recent history. Most of us mistakenly rely on the 6 o'clock news for world events. But this book will surprise you in how much goes unreported by the news media, events unreported because they didn't serve the "correct" political agenda but never-the-less will be recorded in history. There was a revealing line in an old Michael Douglas movie called Falling Down, where after he is cornered from fighting "injustice" with his idea of justified terrorism, he surprisingly asks, "I'm the bad guy?" No American is raised to believe we are the bad guys. But US foreign policy in the 20th century is filled with secret agendas, events that clearly make us historically just that, the bad guys. A friend recommended I also get the hard copy of this book because Chomsky provides many footnotes of reference, documented facts, facts that history can't turn a blind eye to. This is not a conspiracy theory book. It's a history book. One you hopefully won't, and can't forget. Let's hope it makes a difference.
I've repeated this book several times. I can't seem to put it away. Ever wonder why some people command power over you? Ever consider using force to counter a power over you? Ever wonder why it blows up in your face, and fails miserably? Human behavior and interaction is based on so many variables I've always thought it impossible to derive an equation that makes sense. But here are 48 equations, or rules that shed light on the mystery of the basics of human social hierarchy. They work. They've been working for centuries.
A gripping story, from an artful storyteller, twisting about from beginning to end. The author Diane Setterfield is delightfully clever in presenting her characters as storytellers, as one modestly describes her tales as, "Simple little stories really, not much to them. Just a few strands, woven together in a pretty pattern, a memorable motif here, a couple of sequins there. Mere scraps from the bottom of my ragbag. Hundreds more where they came from." Lets hope so. Hundreds more from Diane Setterfield would be wonderful. She is a novelist worthy of following.
I live near the Amish in Pennsylvania. I read the positive reviews and was looking forward to a great read. But I was disappointed. It was a predictable plot that just failed to grip me. The background info about the Amish culture proved weak enough to lose my trust. Unlike the author states, the Amish youth do not sometimes stray to buy beer at the local Turkey Hill. They can’t. PA liquor laws prohibit alcohol sales in convenience stores. Six packs are bought in bars. Cases are sold at beer distributors. Someone didn’t do their homework. Oddly enough, the Amish are sometimes seen pulling a buggy up to a beer distributor. Now there’s an ironic picture that the author could have had fun with. The book’s courtroom scenes were probably the most disappointing, filled with unbelievably unprofessional comments from lawyers and judges. The end left me feeling cheated.
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