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Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century (Yale Nota Bene) Paperback – 11 Aug 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (11 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300087152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300087154
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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In Europe at the start of the twentieth century most people accepted the authority of morality. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sierra Erdinger on 24 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Reviews, be they positive or negative, can often abound with distressing hyperbole. There is a risk of this review being no different.

As such I will make one sentance and ask you to trust it: 'I am not inclined to hyperbole' - in the hope that you will do the same with the next. Jonathan Glover's 'Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century' is quite simply one of the most important books that has been written, in my view, in the last 100 years. Expansive, powerful, and enormously and appropriately distressing, Jonathan Glover is writing less of a history, than using historical narratives as a medium for a philosophical and humanist project that should be valued by anyone who is moved against acts of cruelty and inhumanity in the world. Glover seeks to examine no less of a question than how humanity's often immense immorality is possible, and what must change, or be avoided, to prevent repetitions of such immorality. He provides a deep, complex and thoroughly human account of human tragedies, that is simultaneously moving and enlightening. He traces a vast account of human cruelty, from War Crimes in Vietnam, to British colonial oppression, from Fascist and Stalinist totalitarianism to ethnic cleansing, and seeks to explain it, and help us learn from it.

This is an accessible and moving intellectual work. It is a must read for anyone concerned about immorality, inhumanity and evil in the world. I cannot recommend it more highly to everyone. It is the most important and impressive book I have ever read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. M. Buttigieg on 26 July 2008
Format: Paperback
Glover's "Humanity" is a highly accessible and equally balanced work on the history and morality of the 20th Century. Even though the book is ambitious in scope, Glover gives an accomplished account of the 20th century psychology that led to the Nazi genocide, Stalinism, Mao's Cultural Revolution & Cambodia's Killing Fields, amongst other 20th century atrocities.

Although part one is a little intense and heavy going, particularly to readers unfamiliar with the work of Nietzsche, this does not detract from the rest of the book which is both immensely readable and gripping.

Glover has attempted a unique melange of humanity, morality and historical fact and succeeded. Brilliant. Recommended.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Feb. 2001
Format: Hardcover
While a book should not judged by it's cover, the very darkness of the edition gives valuable insight into what lies between the covers. This is after all a history of the 20th Century, which though the media allows the world to see what a dark century this has been. Glover covers Cambodia, Rwanda, Vietnam and many others but has particular emphasis on the Nazi period which at first seem unfair considering the so many other regimes and genocides. After reading this set of chapters, Glover's emphasis is justified in his small focus on the Nazi regime. His look on the history of 20th Century earth is not without bias, he is a moral philosopher, however the descriptions and analysis of the event of the last century encompass religion, human values and morals, political systems and pyschology. It is a refreshing change to the rigid and academic history of the events Glover covers found in other books. This gives a unsentimental but deeply touching books. His understanding is immense, his insight huge which makes this book one of the most demanding and one of the most hopeful books written on some of the darkest period of our humanity. A necessary book for all to read. I await his next book with intrepidation.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Hameed on 26 April 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm one of those people who are often intrigued by the titles andpresentations of books. I am not a philosophy or a history student but iwas breath-taken by this book. Intially, i borrwed this book, by Glover,from my local library and now i want it for my bookshelf.
I loved hisunbiased outlook on life in the light of the grim relaties he introducesus too in our present and past. Never has the pass been viewed with suchfreshness and the future with such clarification. Indeed in this book hehighlights the fact that history does indeed repeat itself and most of thedestruction caused by man is to do with nuclear weapons and dangerousideologies. I for one got the feeling of tolerance in this book, in aworld where wars are rampant and we ordinary people are asking why? Thisbook is for those who are confused and those who are ignorant of sufferingof others.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By peterloader@hotmail.com on 23 July 2001
Format: Paperback
If you have ever watched TV news, listened to the radio, or read any book about the terrible things people do to each other, any wondered 'Why?', this book is for you. Read it and then read it again. Big issues, well written, well thought out and sweeping in its scope.
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