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January 29, 2012

Sunday Book Thread

I haven't picked up any new books since last week -- I've mainly been trying to work my way through my various in-progress reading projects (in particular Richard Taruskin's Oxford History of Western Music). My lack of formalized music training slows me down, but I'm making my way up the face of the cliff, one handhold at a time.

I also started reading Steven Goldberg's classic sociology work Why Men Rule: A Theory of Male Dominance. (I bought it a long while back but haven't gotten to it until now.) I thought it would be interesting to see how Goldberg mounts his argument in these politically-correct times.

It is an academic work, not a "popular" book, so Goldberg's thesis has faced the full wrath of the feminized academy and defeated all comers (so far). Goldberg's book has caused a lot of gnashing of teeth in all the right quarters, which means that he is probably on to something. I presume that Goldberg is a man of the left -- as a professor of sociology at a major New York university, that is almost certainly statistically the case -- but so far in my reading he has been very careful to stay away from ideological axe-grinding. The book simply posits that patriarchy is the overwhelmingly default mode for human societies, both ancient and modern; he takes no official stance on the morality or desirability of such a thing. He also is careful to point out that his statements about males and females are statistical statements and apply at the social level. I get the feeling that a lot of the feminist animus against his book is from people who never bothered to read it closely (or at all).


Keep sending those book recommendations to aoshqbookthread AT gmail DOT com. Whether the books are your own, the product of a friend, spouse, child, parent, or complete stranger -- send them along!

This week's moron book recommendations:

Russell Bonds sends a pair of American Civil War history books he has written: Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor and War Like the Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning of Atlanta.

Grace McLoughlin sends a book by Father Patrick Henry Reardon, The Jesus We Missed: The Surprising Truth About the Humanity of Christ.

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posted by Monty at 10:46 AM

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