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Publisher's Summary

Who changed the sex of God?

This groundbreaking book proposes that the rise of alphabetic literacy reconfigured the human brain and brought about profound changes in history, religion, and gender relations. Making remarkable connections across brain function, myth, and anthropology, Dr. Shlain shows why pre-literate cultures were principally informed by holistic, right-brain modes that venerated the Goddess, images, and feminine values.

Writing drove cultures toward linear left-brain thinking and this shift upset the balance between men and women, initiating the decline of the feminine and ushering in patriarchal rule. Examining the cultures of the Israelites, Greeks, Christians, and Muslims, Shlain reinterprets ancient myths and parables in light of his theory. Provocative and inspiring, this book is a paradigm-shattering work that will transform your view of history and the mind.

©1998 Leonard Shlain (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about The Alphabet Versus the Goddess

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Can't Even Get Started

I have already had spirited conversations about the content of this book and love it. I thought to listen to it and used my credits to buy it. But I literally can't understand it. The narrators voice and tone when speaking is such that I just hear melody and sound, but the words are effectively meaningless. There is no way I could ever listen to this book with this voice as the reader.

12 people found this helpful

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Mind blowing

I’m not sure how the world missed this theory before, but it makes so much sense. Leonard just proves his point over and over again. It will change the way I see the world forever more.

3 people found this helpful

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Fascinating

Possibly the most interesting non fiction book I've ever read! Buying copies to give out.

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  • 01-27-20

indispensable curriculum

This book is a masterpiece. I found it incredibly thoughtful and thought provoking. It has expanded my understanding and will no doubt continue to do so.

2 people found this helpful

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Well worth listening to....

I read this book years ago, and decided to retake it in again via listening.... This work puts an incredible insight into the blessing and the curse that is written word.... From start to finish, this book highlights many things from history till now that showcase how the logos(alphabet) has supplanted idols(imagery)..... I'm glad I listened to this....

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Great Reads

Amazing book great amount of study into the history of the world ....gives amazing detail

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The narrating voice does not match the content

While the book was written from the male perspective, a female voice would be ideal. The narrators inflections do not hold my attention.

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Excellent! Well organized. Only a man who cares about women and women’s history could write such a work. Thanks Dr. Schlain

Do you have an estimated time of arrival at the truth? From the beginning female deities were worshipped. This tome describes what happened to them—and what happened to us.

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powerful. informative. perspective shift.

It has been a pleasure to listen to this book. Except for the moments of degrading realization ... those were painful, yet heart opening and insightful. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Especially if you are interested in the study of duality and how that informs our relationships with each other and all of life. This book is a bridge.

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An excellent review of the history and myths of ancient culture and that the alfabet was the cause of the loss of the Goddess

A finely researched book on ancient myth, history and religion. It is worth reading as an excellent history of ancient times, beliefs, myths and religion. His basic theory that the alfabet was the root cause of the loss of the Goddess and the cause of the loss of status for women may be quite reductionist. There are many causes for the inferior position of women and the domination of men. His thesis is that the alfabet strenthed and utilized the left hemisphere of the human brain and caused the right hemisphere to lose its effect on human behavior and that over time the human brain was rewired, both in men and women. He equates the function of the right hemisphere with the qualities of what is feminine and the left one with the functions of what is male. Interesting concept and one that should be much more researched. He does not consider other variables. Such as the awesome power the mother and the hunger and the need for mothering in all mammals. When we are born, the newborn turns to the mother when he/she hears her voice. Neonates seek the mother who has to create an external womb in which they can continue to develop. We humans are born much too soon and need the symbiotic union with the mother, in whose womb lived and was one with. When an infant looks up at his mothe he sees himself. To disconnect from the mother as a child leaves an void in the psyche. As we age we are in the difficult position of needing to separate, but still needing her. The return of the Goddess/mother is a constant theme in his book, yet he does not connect it to the infant/mother symbiotic tie which remains with us all of our lives. When it is not fullfilled in infancy, the hunger for her continues in the form an affect/emotional hunger. We tryto fill that void with food, drugs, sex, work and other methods. We keep bringing the Goddess mother back and today, more Christians turn to Mary first, not to Jesus or to the Father. The alfabet may also have played a role and Dr. Shlain deserves a lot of credit and respect for this creative idea, and for the fine historical work he has produced. I enjoyed it immensely and would reccommend it to anyone interested in the history of our speices.

1 person found this helpful