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Steering Through Chaos: Vice and Virtue in…

Steering Through Chaos: Vice and Virtue in an Age of Moral Confusion

by Os Guiness

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Awesome. He uses exactly the writing style I love - everything is nested in a broad view of the sweep of Western Civilization - and he quotes the great authors at length for each point (like Augustine! and Lewis!). The book examines deeply each of the classical Seven Deadly Vices, with the following pattern.

First, it demonstrates the ways in which a given vice is far worse than the reader had previously suspected. Then, it shows how that vice is much more prevalent in society than he could have imagined. Finally, it shocks the reader by (partially) revealing the extent to which the vice is operative within himself. Pretty convicting.

Some of Guiness's cultural analysis is particularly interesting. Check out this section from the chapter on envy:

"Envy is less often traced at the public level where it has enormous consequences in many areas - for example, the excessive egalitarianism of all socialism and some forms of modern democracy, the excesses of affirmative action, the barely concealed appeal of progressive taxation and much advertising, the twisted motivation of therapeutic victim playing, the rage for rights and entitlement, the destructive tearing down by gossip columns and television 'gawk shows,' and the fact that any Western societies are becoming increasingly angry, fueling a disturbing culture of rage." ( )
  andrewlovesoldbooks | Jan 1, 2009 |
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