Book Review: No Apologies

Just finished reading “No Apologies: Why Civilization Depends on the Strength of Men” by Anthony Esolen. Published earlier this year, the book is 192 pages long and organized into six chapters. Esolen provides a thoughtful, enjoyable read that sheds light on sociological trends that we see all around. The material is broader and richer than you might assume from the title, and it is worthwhile to let it rattle around in your mind for a while. Let me mention two short items that caught my interest, and might catch yours as well.

First item: it is easy to forget what we were like as children, but our kids and grandkids bring some of those memories back. But why do young boys and girls behave the way they do? Social and political “experts” throw up a lot of noise that obscures reality, particularly as they are so quick to distort and vilify normal developmental behavior. For example, why do little boys scuffle like puppies? Is such behavior good or bad? Esolen’s writing helps counter an extreme signal-to-noise ratio and bring reality back into focus.

Second item: with so much happening in politics, public schools, big tech, social media, universities, and other sectors, it it can be difficult to understand the common threads and underlying motives, particularly when they so often seem to work at cross purposes. Sometimes, though, it helps to go back to the basics. Cutting through the chaos, Esolen reminds us that envy often drives many of the destructive behaviors competing for our attention. A simple observation, and one that explains a lot.

Bottom line: this book provides insights into the misinformation, allegations, and destruction that have been afflicting Western Civilization over the past several years, if not decades, and I found it thought-provoking and worthwhile.

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