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Free to Be Human: Intellectual Self-defence in an Age of Illusions Paperback – 13 Apr 2000

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  • Free to Be Human: Intellectual Self-defence in an Age of Illusions
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Green Books; 2Rev Ed edition (13 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1870098889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1870098885
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 375,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"This is Namaste's book of the year. Why? Because this is a book that urges the reader to look at the world from a wider perspective. Although written in 1993, everything about which the author has written is so relevant today. It is full of wisdom that does not rely on other people's research. . . . This book shows all of us ways in which we can change, by questioning how we live and think." --Namaste Magazine<br /><br />"Often raw and uncompromising, but it is precisely this quality that lifts it above the familiar blend of green bland and blather." --Jonathon Porritt

"Often raw and uncompromising, but it is precisely this quality that lifts it above the familiar blend of green bland and blather." --Jonathon Porritt

About the Author

David Edwards was born in Maidstone in 1962., After taking a degree in Politics at the University of Leicester, he worked in sales and marketing management for several large corporations. In 1991 he left the business world to concentrate on writing and teaching. He has had articles published on human rights and environmental issues in many magazines in journals. Fre to be Human is his first book; he is also the author of The Compassionate Revolution: Radical Politics and Buddhism.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Swampy on 11 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the book for anyone who's worried in a very down to earth way about the world and wondering what he might be able to do help make it better practically. It also helpful to people who feel a loss of meaning in life, depressed, bored or not convinced that "having fun" is really the main aim in life - I'm speaking from my own experience. It has been very helpful especially as a young person trying to make decisions about what jobs/families/what I want out of life as it provides in my opinion a very accurate picture of how the world and what is really iportant in life as it contains information on politics, social studies and psychology. The bibliography has also been very valuable in pointing me towards other amazing authors specifically Erich Fromm, Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. It's one of the most inspiring books I've ever read and I'd recommend it to anyone :)
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 July 2001
Format: Paperback
A powerful book that blows apart the myth that we are 'free' societies. It brings a clarity and insight to the way we are manipulated by a captive media working to a self-policing paradigm. We make a Faustian compact - get on the consuming bandwagon and find power and status but at the price of losing our sanity. We are missing the information that is 'filtered out' by a system of mass communication that only tells us what is necessary to keep us in buying mode.
In many ways we are worse informed than we were 50 years ago. I feel this myself in my own field of nutritional anthropology. Common wisdom about how we should be feeding ourselves has been obliterated and replaced by a modern dysfunctional paradigm that only serves to seduce people into eating ever more processed and inappropriate foods - because that is what "shifts product" and builds short-term profits.
This book gives one the arguments and strength to resist the blandishments of corporate driven advertising. Much more, it makes it clear that we will only find a true harmony and peace in life if we actually DO something about this situation. We have to take control of our own destiny - no one will do it for us. And we must do it leaving ourselves open to doubt. False certainties that are at odds with reality are a great source of psychological stress in modern society.
I have a couple of niggles. For example, in the author's rush to condemn corporate driven profit motives he derides perfectly understandable fears (in human evolutionary terms) of mass immigration. It is perfectly normal for the baby wrens, turfed out of the nest by a newly hatched cuckoo, to be upset by it. Indeed, it is the brushing aside of these fears by well meaning authorities that lead to the psychological distress of multiculturalism.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tom Jam on 18 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
This book really opened my eyes and mind to a clearer understanding of the workings of government, the media, and business in the western world. The information presented is excellent and echoes the work of Chomsky and other such people who struggle for a more fair world without the government, media and business so easily pulling the wool over peoples' eyes. I think its clarity is brilliant. I really cannot recommend this great book highly enough.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Randall on 6 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
I first read this book in 1996 when it was published in England. I think I must have re-read it at least five or six times since, returning to favourite passages when life around me seemed to make little sense.
Using a passionate compelling language, David leads us through a treatise on illusions and the huge role they play in denying personal happiness aswell as contributing to massive human suffering.
He implores us to join these two "wounds" of inner disallusionment and outward worldly suffering by asking the necessary compelling questions that are rooted in a real human relevance and to challenge our instinctive desire to avoid seeing uncomfortable truths when they threaten our short term escapism.
The real secret of this book though is that by the end David has made a devastating case for looking beyond the illusionary comfort of this short term escapism and seeing instead the true happiness of a long term re-alignment to the business of our intrinsic humanity.
Should inspire and bring a sense of relief and... well... human-ness to the reader. A massive recommendation!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Graminaceous on 21 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
This book offers a clear and concise re-thinking of the ordering of our society and will have a profound impact on the way you think and see the world about you, if you can keep an open mind. Edwards' observations of modern society obsessed by the material and encouraged in this delusion by big corporations with an interest in selling the material are clear and insightful.

He lays out the evidence showing corporate power's stranglehold over humankind and the destructive drive for profit that ensues from such a malignant relationship. Edwards shows how controlling the media and the public's information sources allows the wealthy elites to promote their message of life: what it means to have "fun"; what it means to be a "good" citizen; how we should spend the money exchanged for our labour: how our relationships with other humans should be conducted: what person or group of people is to be feared, the "enemy"; and which people or things should be trusted, leaders or markets.

This affirmative system of control affects all areas of societal functions. Humans' relationship and growth from the cradle is engineered to provide the life blood for economic expansion. A willing and able workforce educated in the need to work as a cog in the financial wheel is formed through a system of school education which discourages critical thought and pursuit of self development and promotes a mechanical system that will bear fruits only in the market place. This system has devastating effects on the mind and soul of humankind working in the democracies of the contemporary "free" West. The concept of freedom we are taught to revere in the West is not represented in the ordering of society.
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