Customer Reviews for

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2008

    A reviewer

    Finally, a book that does not merely defend the West but positively commends its values and achievements to the world. There's a reason it's called 'Western Civilization.' To the extent that other cultures are Westernized, they become increasingly civilized. If a culture shows itself to be civilized, you can safely assume it has been Westernized sometime in its recent past. Away with all false modesty, self-loathing, and guilt! The world owes a debt of gratitude for the pervasive influence of the West. Only to the degree that we understand this to be so will the world remain civilized. To depart from our Western heritage is suicidal. All cultures are not created equal. This book clearly demonstrates the moral, cultural, political, intellectual, and spiritual superiority of Western Civilization. 'Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Western Civ's the way to go!'

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2009

    I hoped this was a satire ... I found it was insanity!

    Full disclosure: I am a historian and a published author with several books in print.

    "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization" is is a study in cognitive dissonance and so full of historical errors and self-contradictions I could easily write a review as long as the text itself, stating (and documenting) its errors page by page.

    Just a few examples--it cites the Enlightenment as a major source of all that is wrong in the world, the evil force that germinated (gasp!)democracy, a quest for equality (with particular venom for "feminazis" who refuse to accept their proper place(s) in the kitchen, bedroom, and nursery--choosing instead to pursue higher education and positions of influence while simultaneously destroying family). Esolen posits that abortion is the sign of modernity's self-destructive direction and praises classical cultures in comparison--all the while ignoring (or showing his ignorance of) the widely-accepted Spartan practice of abandoning unwanted babies to die. He decries the abomination of another threat to family--homosexuality--while ignoring the prominence of pedophilia and rape in "the more civilized" Greece and Rome. Esolen credits Judeo-Christianity with all that is good in the world, but ignores decades--no, centuries!--of violence conducted by Christians in the name of religion: the Crusades, the Inquisition, the explorers of America who enslaved or obliterated native cultures, and so on.

    I propose a minor change in the title for the next printing: "The Incorrect Guide..." Better yet, let's just go back to the time-"honored" practice of burning books. Place this one on the top of the pile.

    3 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2010

    Buy It and Home School History

    Go ask a recent college or high school graduate to define natural law and he or she will probably look at you and say "huh?". If we do not understand natural law or all the lessons of Western Civilization we are not truly educated. It does not matter how brilliant we are in math and science if we are clueless about Western thought we are doomed. Read this book and all the PI Guides.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    Headline

    Wnile amusing and thought provoking, the book has appeared thusfar to be somewhat one sided and overly-conservative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    This book cuts through many myths about history, and manages to

    This book cuts through many myths about history, and manages to balance accuracy with satire so that it's easy to tell where one leaves off and the other begins. In other words, the editorials stand out as editorials, while the facts are presented as facts that can be easily verified in other sources. In many places, Esolen relies on primary sources from the periods that he's covering, so that we're given contrasting points of view from the people who actually lived at the time, or, in other words, what those people thought they thought, rather than our thoughts about them. Yes, there are many satirical barbs about today's politically correct shibboleths, and I imagine a proponent of those shibboleths might find them irritating, but at least they aren't presented as inarguable truths, as are so many subjective myths in current "histories."

    I might add that Esolen's prose style is brilliant. There were times when I stopped and reread a sentence several times because it was so beautifully turned, sometimes rising to the level of poetry. (I realized, with one of them at the end of a paragraph, that it was a perfect iambic hexameter.)

    And in response to the reviewer who presented his or her credentials as a well-published historian, I too am a well-published scholar in literary history and social history, as well as a published poet.

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    Posted June 2, 2010

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    Posted January 24, 2010

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    Posted March 3, 2009

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    Posted January 18, 2010

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