From Eve to Dawn: A History of Women in the World by Marilyn French


book jacket abstract image of womanFrom Eve to Dawn: A History of Women in the World by Marilyn French (2008) Volume 1: Origins. Foreword by Margaret Atwood.

Marilyn French has a smooth writing style that is easy to read but still packs a punch by her coherence and context for absorbing new information.

The bbook jacket illustration of wall and women in red with white hatsook is divided into 3 basic parts: 1. Parents, 2. The Rise of the State, 3. Gods, Glory, and Delusions of Grandeur. Under the States part it is a treat to go back all the way to Peru, Egypt, and Sumner. Other nations include a chapter on China, India, Mexico and a concluding analysis on the State in the abstract. She adds descriptors to identify the nature of the respective states: Secular=China, Religious = India, Militaristic = Mexico.

Under the Gods portion she covers Judaism, Greece, Rome, Christianity, Islam. There are number of supplemental notes, a glossary, a bibliography, and and index as well as some maps.

Here’s a bit from Margaret Atwood’s foreword:

Women who read this book will do so with horror and growing anger: From Eve to Dawn is to Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex as won is to poodle. Men who read it might be put off by the depiction of the collective male as brutal book jacket photo of author Simone de Beauvoirpsychopath, or puzzled by French’s idea that men should “take responsibility for what their sex has done.” . . . However, no one will be able to avoid the relentless piling up of detail and event — the bizarre customs, the woman-hating legal structure, the gynecological absurdities, the child abuse, the sanctioned violence, the sexual outrageous — millennium after millennium. How to explain them? Are all men twisted? Are all women doomed? Is there hope? French is ambivalent about the twisted part, but, being a peculiarly American kind of activist, she insists on hope. (p.x)

Her intention was to put together a narrative answer to a question that had bothered her for a long time: how had men under up with ALL THE POWER — specifically, with all the power over women? Had it always been like that? If not, how was such power grasped and then enforced? Nothing she had read had addressed this issue directly. In most conventional histories, women simply aren’t there. Or they’re there as footnotes. (p.xi)

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The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

evolutionThe Evolution of Everything (2015) is interesting but not as good as several of his other books, however I read them awhile ago so cannot be specific.

His main point is that trial and error is a kind of natural selection. So if someone comes up with a good idea it will spread and be adopted. While he presents interesting descriptions to illustrate this proposition, he fails to counter obvious examples of when progress is thwarted and why. When he discusses slavery for example, he states that society changed so it was no longer acceptable. He fails to note, however that slavery is alive and well by that name or by another, for example human trafficking of sex slaves. It may be considered unaccepted but it still a thriving business by masters and users. Wives in some countries are also, essentially slaves. They have no rights, they can be divorced by the husband saying “I divorce you” and then thrown out on the street to fend for themselves, essentially forcing them to become prostitutes since they can’t be out in public without a male relative, their families will disown and possibly even do an “honor killing” because obviously it was her fault for not pleasing her husband (owner).

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Compassionate Conservatism by Marvin Olasky

compassion my assCompassionate Conservatism: what it is, What it does, and How it can Transform America  (2000) by The Free Press (I just hate the way they co-opt words and twist the meanings using free like it is not propaganda.)

This “book” (in the most expansive sense vs. lies, propaganda) with a foreword by Governor George W. Bush [so that pretty much gives you a clue about what I think of the content; note this was pre-debacle presidency]

There is a list of others Olasky wrote or co-wrote so if you want to read some propaganda, just check the titles at the end of this post. And I say propaganda having read CC which is full of religious babble:

p.101 [discussed the abhorrent aberration of Social Darwinism, embraced by government officials who complained that “idleness” and “other forms of vicious indulgence” are “frequently, if not universally, hereditary in character. . . .Vigorous efforts must be instituted to break the line of pauper descent.” He goes on to say that the biblical base opposed Social Darwinism. [things change I think].

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