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Showing posts with the label history and psychology

Sapiens A brief history of humankind - Book Review

  Sapiens A Brief History of   Humankind By   Yuvai Noah Harari Reviewed by   Geoffrey W. Sutton Sapiens has been reviewed many times since its international debut. So, I’ll just provide a summary and some thoughts from my perspective as a psychologist. Despite its long reach—all of human history—it’s a relatively quick read because Harari is an engaging writer with a sense of humor and a knack for telling stories that create vivid images of our species wandering about on various continental stages for some 200,000 years. He reviews world history from a global perspective beginning with evolution. There’s not a lot new here for those of us who read similar works. Nevertheless, there were things I did not know and so I am grateful for those tidbits, which may only amount to “wow” trivia if I can remember them. _______________ His subtitle, A Brief History ,” provides the clue for what to expect. Harari takes us through history from the speculative beginning to curren


WHITE FRAGILITY:  Why It’s So Hard for White People  to Talk About Racism      By Robin DiAngelo     Reviewed by        Geoffrey W. Sutton   White Fragility is a best seller with a surge in interest during this 2020 springtime of protests against racism. The concept, white fragility , is now a part of everyday discourse—at least among those who endorse the concept. Even if you disagree with most or all of DiAngelo’s ideas, I think it worth reading or listening to if you live in, or are part of, the world where white people are, or were, oppressive in their actions toward black people. I listened to the AUDIBLE version on a trial.   The path to white fragility in America begins a few centuries ago. DiAngelo does not dwell on the past but draws back the curtain on the historic wasteland so we have a context.   “Claiming that the past was socially better than the present is also a hallmark of white supremacy. Consider any period in the past from the perspective of people


THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE:     WHY VIOLENCE HAS DECLINED.       By Steven Pinker  Reviewed by    Kayla Jordan*  & Geoffrey W. Sutton There's a shooting in a mall, a restaurant, a school. Christians or Muslims are being killed here or there. It looks like things are getting worse. But Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker doesn't think so as he explains in, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Kayla Jordan was one of my research students interested in moral psychology. We decided to read The Better Angels of Our Nature and write a review, which was published in 2012. I'm drawing on our joint review for this blog post. I listed her name above because she was the lead author in the published book review. I'll give the reference to the academic review below. ***** Steven Pinker combines historical and psychological research to argue the case for a decline in global violence. Pinker observes that many people think