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Rabbi Josh Yuter


Recommended Books

13 books on the list
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The Demon in Democracy
Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies
Ryszard Legutko - Apr 19, 2016 (first published in 2012)
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The book is written from a perspective of someone who after having lived for many years under communism and then for more than two decades under a liberal democracy has discovered that those two political systems have a lot in common, stem from the same historical roots in early modernity, and accept similar presuppositions about history, society, ...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Jan 03, 2021
It's an excellent book. I'd also recommend reading along with it, Ryszard Legutko's The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies     source
From the Maccabees to the Mishnah, Third Edition
Shaye Cohen - Nov 12, 2014 (first published in 1987)
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This is the third edition of Shaye J. D. Cohen's important and seminal work on the history and development of Judaism between 164 BCE to 300 CE. Cohen's synthesis of religion, literature, and history offers deep insight into the nature of Judaism at this key period, including the relationship between Jews and Gentiles, the function of Jewish religi...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Dec 13, 2020
@AlanfromBigEasy Both existed, but there was clearly some tension between the power structures. Here's one example from Mishna Shekalim 1:4. I'd also look at Shaye Cohen's wonderful book, From Maccabees to the Mishna     source
A Conflict of Visions
Ideological Origins of Political Struggles
Thomas Sowell - Jun 05, 2007 (first published in 1986)
Goodreads Rating
In this classic work, Thomas Sowell analyzes the two competing visions that shape our debates about the nature of reason, justice, equality, and power: the “constrained” vision, which sees human nature as unchanging and selfish, and the “unconstrained” vision, in which human nature is malleable and perfectible. He describes how these two radically ...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Dec 03, 2020
@HPluckrose If you're starting, my favorite and recommended books of his are A Conflict of Visions and Quest for Cosmic Justice.     source
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The White Man's Burden
Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good
William Easterly - Feb 27, 2007 (first published in 2006)
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From one of the world's best-known development economists--an excoriating attack on the tragic hubris of the West's efforts to improve the lot of the so-called developing worldIn his previous book, The Elusive Quest for Growth, William Easterly criticized the utter ineffectiveness of Western organizations to mitigate global poverty, and he was prom...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Nov 29, 2020
@Wordsmith_Manda @matthewsyed Read @bill_easterly's excellent book White Man's Burden on this exact problem     source
Laws of Fear
Beyond the Precautionary Principle (The Seeley Lectures)
Cass Sunstein - Aug 12, 2009 (first published in 2005)
Goodreads Rating
This book is about the complex relationship between fear, danger, and the law. Cass Sunstein argues that the precautionary principle is incoherent and potentially paralyzing, as risks exist on all sides of social situations and there is no 'general' precautionary principle as such. His insight into The Laws of Fear represents a major statement for ...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Nov 29, 2020
For those interested, @CassSunstein has a wonderful book called Laws of Fear discussing the costs of the precautionary principle.     source
Limits of Orthodox Theology
Maimonides' Thirteen Principles Reappraised (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization)
Marc B. Shapiro - Aug 25, 2011 (first published in 2003)
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It is commonly asserted that Maimonides' famous Thirteen Principles are the last word in Orthodox Jewish theology. This is a very popular notion, and is often repeated by scholars from all camps in Judaism. Yet such a position ignores the long history of Jewish theology in which Maimonides' Principles have been subject to great dispute. The book be...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Aug 24, 2020
@DandiaAsad Messed up the link. It's The Limits of Orthodox Theology by Marc Shapiro and it's one of my favorite Judaic Studies books     source
The Quest for Cosmic Justice
Thomas Sowell - Feb 05, 2002 (first published in 1999)
Goodreads Rating
This book is about the great moral issues underlying many of the headline-making political controversies of our times. It is not a comforting book but a book about disturbing and dangerous trends. The Quest for Cosmic Justice shows how confused conceptions of justice end up promoting injustice, how confused conceptions of equality end up promoting ...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Aug 04, 2020
This is an excellent survey of @ThomasSowell by @coldxman. I've read many of his books and agree with @sapinker that Sowell is an underrated writer. I highly recommend to everyone his books A Conflict of Visions and Quest for Cosmic Justice     source
Also recommended by
Ben Shapiro
The Vision of the Anointed
Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy
Thomas Sowell - Jun 28, 1996 (first published in 1995)
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Thomas Sowell's provocative critique of liberalism's failures The Vision of the Anointed is a devastating critique of the mind-set behind the failed social policies of the past thirty years. Thomas Sowell sees what has happened not as a series of isolated mistakes but as a logical consequence of a vision whose defects have led to disasters in educa...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Aug 04, 2020
@SarKE @coldxman I've read a lot of his works and those are my two favorites. His book on Affirmative Action was fascinating, but I thought he overstated some claims. Visions of the Anointed is also wonderful, but it's more of a polemic (it's a good polemic, but not everyone's cup of tea)     source
Also recommended by
Keith RaboisAdam Townsend
Social Vision
The Lubavitcher Rebbe's Transformative Paradigm for the World (Jewish Spiritual Traditions and Contempo)
Philip Wexler - Jul 06, 2019
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Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994), known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, was one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century and the only rabbi ever awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Despite wide recognition of Schneerson's impact, this is the first volume to seriously explore his social ideas and activism. Schneerson not onl...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Jul 22, 2020
I admit, part of why I like the book is that it relies on resources with which I'm already familiar: Wolfson's spectacular Open Secret and the works of Max Weber. The other part is I really love reading well-written books     source
The Righteous Mind
Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
Jonathan Haidt - Feb 12, 2013 (first published in 2012)
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As America descends deeper into polarization and paralysis, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done the seemingly impossiblechallenged conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to everyone on the political spectrum. Drawing on his twenty five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, he shows ...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Jul 09, 2020
@Emmyjewel @JonHaidt Righteous Mind is an even better book IMO     source
The Fractured Republic
Renewing America's Social Contract in the Age of Individualism
Yuval Levin - May 23, 2017 (first published in 2016)
Goodreads Rating
Americans today are frustrated and anxious. Our economy is sluggish, and leaves workers insecure. Income inequality, cultural divisions, and political polarization increasingly pull us apart. Our governing institutions often seem paralyzed. And our politics has failed to rise to these challenges. No wonder, then, that Americans -- and the politicia...
Rabbi Josh Yuter
Jun 26, 2020
Also, see Yuval Levin's excellent book. Our Fractured Republic on the role of nostalgia. To answer @DanielJHannan's point directly, I'd say it's one of those hyperbolic things people say for effect w/o actually thinking things through.     source
Evil by Roy Baumeister
Inventing Human Rights by Lynn Hunt