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Scapegoat: A History of Blaming Other People [Hardcover]

Charlie Campbell
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.53 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

22 Sep 2011
In the beginning there was blame. Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and we've been hard at it ever since. We may have come a long way from the days when a goat was saddled with all the iniquities of the children of Israel and driven into the wilderness, but is our desperate need to find some organisation, person or other to pin the blame on and absolve ourselves of responsibility really any more advanced? Charlie Campbell's book highlights the plight of all those others who have found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, illustrating how God needs the Devil, as surely as Sherlock Holmes needs Professor Moriarty, or James Bond needs Blofeld. Every person and society needs someone to oppose. Scapegoat ranges from serious contemplation of Jesus and contemporary issues of Government blame-shifting to conspiracy theories like David Icke's that the Duke of Edinburgh is one of many giant shape-shifting extraterrestrial lizards who secretly run the world. Scapegoat is a tale of human foolishness, that exposes the anger and irrationality of blame-mongering while reminding the reader of their own capacity for it. Moving from the Bible to the modern Royal Family, from medieval Witch burning to reality TV, from the whipping boys of the Renaissance court to Blairite politics, this is a brilliantly relevant and timely look at social history that uncovers, in an accessible and entertaining way, countless stories of obsession, mania, persecution and injustice from the highest echelons of society to the lowliest outcast.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (22 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715638742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715638743
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 636,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'This is a relevant and timely subject and Charlie Campbell is terrifically good company. It's not often that I wish a book were longer.' --Frances Wilson, Telegraph

'The word 'history' in the subtitle might suggest a systematic and scholary progression through the centuries, but Campbell's delicious little book is something far more beguiling: a ruminative essay by a witty and perceptive author.' --Francis Wheen, Literary Review

'A sweeping history of the blame game... starting with Adam's dissing of Eve, Campbell proceeds to take down everyone from Marx... to Freud... from Larkin... to Dawkins.' --The Observer

'The word 'history' in the subtitle might suggest a systematic and scholary progression through the centuries, but Campbell's delicious little book is something far more beguiling: a ruminative essay by a witty and perceptive author.' --Francis Wheen, Literary Review

'A sweeping history of the blame game... starting with Adam's dissing of Eve, Campbell proceeds to take down everyone from Marx... to Freud... from Larkin... to Dawkins.' --The Observer

About the Author

Charlie Campbell is a literary agent and captain of the Authors Cricket Club, whose original members included P G Wodehouse and Arthur Conan Doyle. He was previously Deputy Editor at the Literary Review, where he ran the Bad Sex in Fiction Prize among other things. He currently lives in London.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy and derivative 1 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback
The other reviewer says it better than I but is too generous in his scoring. Should a book on such a topic be using terms like 'loony' (p70)? Oh Duckworth, be ashamed!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy it at 10% of the price 16 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a lightweight book, a sort of compendium of blame, and not worth the cover price. Quite amusing anecdotes but basically a pretty lazy collection which you could get more of elsewhere. Reasonably amusing if you like half an hour's reading.
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