Item description for Why the Rest Hates the West: Understanding the Roots of Global Rage by Meic Pearse...
Overview Writing from a more neutral position as a Briton, Pearse offers insights to help westerners understand how other countries, such as those in the Middle East, often view the politics and society of the western countries.
Publishers Description "Why do they hate us so much?" Many in the U.S. are baffled at the hatred and anti-Western sentiment they see on the international news. Why are people around the world so resentful of Western cultural values and ideals? Historian Meic Pearse unpacks the deep divides between the West and the rest of the world. He shows how many of the underlying assumptions of Western civilization directly oppose and contradict the cultural and religious values of significant people groups. Those in the Third World, Pearse says, "have the sensation that everything they hold dear and sacred is being rolled over by an economic and cultural juggernaut that doesn't even know it's doing it . . . and wouldn't understand why what it's destroying is important or of value." Pearse's keen analysis offers insight into perspectives not often understood in the West, and provides a starting point for intercultural dialogue and rapprochement."
Citations And Professional Reviews Why the Rest Hates the West: Understanding the Roots of Global Rage by Meic Pearse has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christianity Today - 03/01/2005 page 83
Multicultural Review - 06/01/2005 page 80
CBA Retailers - 06/01/2004 page 147
Christian Retailing - 06/22/2004 page 57
Booklist - 06/01/2004 page 1678
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Studio: InterVarsity Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.26" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.58" Weight: 0.57 lbs.
Release Date Jun 13, 2004
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN 0830832025 ISBN13 9780830832026
Availability 0 units.
More About Meic Pearse
Meic Pearse is the author of Why the Rest Hates the West, one of the most talked-about books of 2004-2005. Originally from Britain, Pearse earned his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Oxford. Currently living in the United States and Croatia, Pearse is assistant professor of history at Houghton College, New York. ABOUT THE EDITORS John D. Woodbridge is research professor of church history and the history of Christian thought at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. David F. Wright is professor of patristic and Reformed Christianity at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Tim Dowley has written and edited many books, including The Lion Handbook to the History of Christianity. He lives in Covent Garden, London.
Reviews - What do customers think about Why the Rest Hates the West: Understanding the Roots of Global Rage?
Thoughtful and Refreshing Oct 14, 2006
The author definitely has a strong Christian world-view, but is refreshingly different from the usual gushings of the relgious-right and the conservative talk-show crowd.
I would hope non-religious readers would keep an open mind, think through some of the arguements Meic Pearse makes, and not "write off" the author because he comes from a historic Christian world-view.
I would also hope religious (i.e. conservative Christians) would think through how culturally entrenched their version of "American Christianity" may actually be, and realize God is not a Republican - or an American.
While not necessarily an "easy read," I'd recommend this to anyone who is looking beyond the standard arguements and views of polical left or right.
Compulsory reading for any thinking soul Jul 30, 2006
While the title is somewhat misleading, and quite likely a publisher cheap shot for selling more copies, the book is an engaging read. It tracks the motivations at work in contemporary western society and tracks the changes in attitudes over the years. There is an implicit assumption that the societal forces at work in old America/UK/Western world are the forces at work in the "problem nations" of the world today. So the book can be used as a useful tool of understanding the mindsets of the rest of the non-western world, the angle of the importance of religion in premodern societies is very relevant to understanding the Islamic citizen's mindset. The author seems to suggest that current Western foreign policy stand of demoncratizing countries or of forcing globalization through them is not the best way of "progress" for them. The forces of cultural change take hundreds of years to evolve (the western society serves as a good example of this).
Asking Why? Mar 30, 2006
Have you ever turned on the television and seen five or six Iraqi / Middle East bombings of United State troops or terrorist bombings on countries located in modernized Europe? Then, have you proceeded to wonder, if only as a fleeting thought, why the rest of the world hates us enough to bomb us? Ever since the United States has concentrated it's military power in the Middle East, the western world has seen an increase in the attacks on us by other countries around the world. Many American and Europeans simply brush it off, claiming that only extremists and terrorists hate the west without reason, but there is a sensible story behind this sometimes violent hate against us. The book `Why the Rest Hates the West' by Meic Pearse is a great insight into the mind of non-westerners. It gives reason, and the thought process behind many points they have against us, and you just might walk away from it with a greater understanding of the rest of the world.
There has been one word that has been held prominently in the United States for many years: tolerance. In fact, it was one of the pivotal principles this country was founded upon. It was first meant as an agreement to accept the difference between people and their culture, or between a monolith society and the minorities that live amongst it. Recently, it has been warped to mean to completely ignore the differences between people, and to deny the different cultures that have slowly been disappearing into ours:
"Tolerance is a feature that, unless it is distinct to one country, makes it indistinct from others-especially over time. This, of course, may be a price well worth paying if the alternative is intolerance. And if the matter were to be left there, this would all be fine."
That is just on quote from Why the Rest Hates the West explaining why out view on tolerance is so twisted. This book will help you understand the real meaning of tolerance and how the western world often misuses it. Besides the present condition of the west, this book also talks about how we got to be the hated, and now in decline society that we are, and why the rest of the world's downtrodden opinion of us has slowly soured into hate. One example would be how Meic Pearse explains that we have detracted away from integrity and instead started to accept `being true to oneself' in its place. It will help you understand how we got to this point, which will in turn hopefully help you decide how to help reform our society. For anyone who is confused as to the western world's standing point to the rest of the world, I recommend this book to you. It can at first be harder to read, with some advanced wording in it, but it's easier once you get into the flow of the deep insight into the unrest of the world against the west.
Repackaged Historicism Falls Short of the Mark Nov 24, 2005
Pearse's argues that non-Western societies hate the West because they see the West as morally bankrupt. Pearce's argument is, seen through the lens of Karl Popper's "The Open Society and Its Enemies," an old-fashioned historicist line of reasoning that things were morally better in pre-Enlightenment days, that the West has since morally declined, and that we need to return to an earlier state of grace in order to regain what we have lost.
At first glance, this seems like a reasonable thesis, but upon analysis, it falls short of the historical facts.
If anything, people acted morally worse in these earlier socieities, with the norm being, with no concept of indivudal rights, to do violence to your fellow humanity, not the contrary that Pearse implies. Pearse's argument ignores the fact that pre-Enlightenment soceities and current non-Western societies were and are predicated on the abuse of power, the suppression of the individual by the state, tremdendous economic inequities, and the core notion that the group, not the individual, should determine and judge individual action.
The central reason Enlightenment notions rose to prominence was that enough people were tired of religious superstition, political repression and social inequality. If the rest don't like us, it is they who need to change, they who need to make a genuine attempt to observe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Sane, Calm, Reasoned, Useful Sep 26, 2005
It takes a great deal of education, experience, and faith to write a book such as this. Originally a series of lectures, the author has developed some useful, and calmly articulated, thoughts on both why there is a disconnect between the "West" and "the Rest," and why the West is on a downward spiral to oblivion in practical terms, with the triple whammy of declining birth rates (non-replenishment), increased longevity (generally among those who are not necessarily productive in their older years), and substantial apathy among the self-absorbed, self-righteous, and largely clueless teen-agers and 20-30 "me me me" generation.
There are many books that I have reviewed here for this site that support this author's personal reflections, and his citations of those books that did stimulate him are more than adequate. A few themes made by the author strike me as worthy of emphasis, for they provide a road-map for any Western society that wishes to survive into the 22nd century:
1) Morality matters. It is a historical force. Will and Ariel Durant emphasized this in their "Lessons of History," and many strategic confrontations have borne out the point. Tribes and nations that become amoral ultimately decline and fall.
2) Western myopia cannot be understated. The ignorance of the West regarding global realities and the relationship between Western behavior (inclusive of US support for 44 dictators, immoral and predatory capitalism, virtual colonialism, and the general view of others that the West is "barbaric" in sexual and other matters of fidelity and integrity) and how others view is simply unrealistic.
3) The West fails to understand that the rest of the world, where faith and integrity and loyalty to the family and tribe are often all that keeps the entire society from disintegrating in the face of more primitive environments that we ourselves experience, wants to be modern but not Western--modern with cultural cohesion, not modern with the commoditization of the individual, which both the author of Lionel Tiger ("The Manufacture of Evil") credit with destroying family, community, tribe, and nation.
4) The author excels at discussion how Western individuals today have lost the context of history, the reverence for tradition, the utility of specified morality. Westerners are "out of touch" with the lessons of history, out of touch with the implications of our selfish decisions in the present that have implications for the future generations.
5) The author discusses competing concepts of legitimacy, and here he goes into nuances all too often lacking in "objective" Western analysis of competing social models. He sees the value of personal versus impersonal authority in the context of societies where bureaucracy is not yet developed and kinship remains the foundation for trust.
6) The author, educated at Oxford, would agree with Philip Alcott, brilliant Cambridge scholar and author of "Health of Nations," in dismissing most nations as false constructs inconsistent with their tribal and religious networks and beliefs. This is as true of the "Nine Nations of North America" (Joel Garreau) as it is of most of Africa, where colonialism heritage is that of inevitable genocide.
The author concludes, as one would expect of a Christian moralist, that "Nothing less than a massive cultural reversal is necessary. We need to rejoin the rest of the human race." He focuses on the renewed relevance of religious and moral vision, and here he would find common cause with David Johnson, distinguished author of books on "Faith-Based Diplomacy" and the vital role of religion in fostering reasoned dialog between West and East.
Apart from restoring the role of morality within our over-all culture, the author concludes that we must become informed--like it or not, our lives are bound up with those of everyone else all over the world. Here he is in tight agreement with both President David Boren (former Senator) of the University of Oklahoma, and David Gergen, advisor to multiple Presidents of the United States (most of whom did not listen too well). We must internationalize and modernize our educational system, restore the importance of history and international studies, and give life to the finding of E. O. Wilson from "Consilience," to wit, that the sciences demand the humanities if they are to be in the service of humanity.
This is a most thoughtful book, reverent in its arguments, one that reminds us all of the value that can be had from listening to or reading the careful reflections of a man of the cloth, born in Wales, educated in England, and now speaking to all of us.