‘The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction’ by Matthew B. Crawford

Attacks on digital technology for destroying our capacity for attention are a dime a dozen. Despite its title, Matthew Crawford’s The World Beyond Your Head is not such an attack. It is far more ambitious. Somewhat to my surprise, it is a direct assault on the Enlightenment for ruining the habits of mind and practice that lead to human flourishing. Crawford says modern man is subject to delusions, birthed by the Enlightenment, that diffuse our perception of the world in a fog of unreality. He therefore sets himself up in as the paladin of reality, a champion badly needed by our times,…

‘The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894–1924’ Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi

Usually this extermination, or part of it, is referred to as the Armenian Genocide, except by the Turks, who to this day deny their crimes, and so don’t refer to it at all. That usual term is misleading, however. As Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi document exhaustively, the primary target was all Christians, and the primary goal religious cleansing of the Turkish nation.

‘Kingdoms of Faith: A New History of Islamic Spain’ by Brian A. Catlos

Catlos does not make the mistake of ascribing advanced science and medicine to Islam, much less to Muslim Spain. In all of the Muslim world, including Spain, astronomy was fairly sophisticated, for religious and astrological reasons, but mathematics and medicine, and all other science, were second-order, second-rate, and even often frowned upon.

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