A Moral History of the Twentieth CenturyBook - 2000
Renowned moral philosopher Jonathan Glover confronts the brutal history of the twentieth century to unravel the mystery of why so many atrocities occurred. In a new preface, Glover brings the book through the post-September 11 era and into our own time—and asks whether humankind can "weaken the grip war has on us."
Praise for the first edition:
“It is hard to imagine a more important book. Glover makes an overwhelming case for the need to understand our own inhumanity, and reduce or eliminate the ways in which it can express itself—and he then begins the task himself.Humanity is an extraordinary achievement.”—Peter Singer, Princeton University
“This is an extraordinary book: brilliant, haunting and uniquely important. Almost 40 years ago a president read a best seller and avoided a holocaust. I like to think that some of the leaders and followers of tomorrow will readHumanity.”—Steven Pinker, New York Times Book Review
Baker & Taylor
The twentieth century was the most brutal in human history, featuring a litany of shameful events that includes the Holocaust, Hiroshima, the Stalinist era, Cambodia, Yugoslavia, and Rwanda. This book looks at the politics of our times and the roots of human nature to discover why so many atrocities were perpetuated and how we can create a social environment to prevent their recurrence. Jonathan Glover finds similarities in the psychology of those who perpetuate, collaborate in, and are complicit with atrocities, uncovering some disturbing common elements--tribal hatred, blind adherence to ideology, diminished personal responsibility--as well as characteristics unique to each situation. Acknowledging that human nature has a dark and destructive side, he proposes that we encourage the development of a political and personal moral imagination that will compel us to refrain from and protest all acts of cruelty.