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Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times

Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times

Geschrieben von Eyal Press

Erzählt von Sean Runnette


Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times

Geschrieben von Eyal Press

Erzählt von Sean Runnette

Bewertungen:
4/5 (4 Bewertungen)
Länge:
7 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
May 28, 2012
ISBN:
9781452678078
Format:
Hörbuch

Beschreibung

On the Swiss border with Austria in 1938, a police captain refuses to enforce a law barring Jewish refugees from entering his country. In the Balkans half a century later, a Serb from the war-blasted city of Vukovar defies his superiors in order to save the lives of Croats. At the height of the Second Intifada, a member of Israel's most elite military unit informs his commander he doesn't want to serve in the occupied territories.

Fifty years after Hannah Arendt examined the dynamics of conformity in her seminal account of the Eichmann trial, Beautiful Souls explores the flipside of the banality of evil, mapping out what impels ordinary people to defy the sway of authority and convention. Through the dramatic stories of unlikely resisters who feel the flicker of conscience when thrust into morally compromising situations, Eyal Press shows that the boldest acts of dissent are often carried out not by radicals seeking to overthrow the system but by true believers who cling with unusual fierceness to their convictions. Drawing on groundbreaking research by moral psychologists and neuroscientists, Beautiful Souls culminates with the story of a financial industry whistleblower who loses her job after refusing to sell a toxic product she rightly suspects is being misleadingly advertised. At a time of economic calamity and political unrest, this deeply reported work of narrative journalism examines the choices and dilemmas we all face when our principles collide with the loyalties we harbor and the duties we are expected to fulfill.
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
May 28, 2012
ISBN:
9781452678078
Format:
Hörbuch


Über den Autor

Eyal Press is an author and journalist based in New York.  His work has appeared in the New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, The Raritan Review and numerous other publications.  A 2011 Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, he is the author of Absolute Convictions, and a past recipient of the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.

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  • (4/5)
    There are a fair number of books about bad people, numerous biographies about Hitler and their ilk and how it is they became the embodiment of evil. But Eyal Press was interested in a more overlooked subject, why some people resist the worst inclinations of their neighbors, sometimes their entire societies, and act on the side of goodness, even at extreme cost to themselves. His short book consists of a prologue, four chapters, and an epilogue. Each chapter is a unique case history focusing on a different person, context, and period. These are, respectively, Paul Gruninger, a commander of the State Police who allowed Jews to enter Switzerland as refugees at a time when his country's official policy was to turn them away, Aleksander Jevtic, a Serb who protected Croats during their bitter war and ethnic conflicts, Avner Wishnitzer, an Israeli soldier who comes to sympathize with Palestinians, and Leyla Wydler, the whistle-blower on Standford Securities. Eyal examines each case closely and sheds light on what forces, both internal and external, might have led each individual to act the way they did. In light of our partisan, hate-filled times, it is soothing and sobering to read about these beautiful souls.
  • (3/5)
    Very timely and discussion-worthy book.
  • (4/5)
    A fascinating, provocative book that seeks to explain the behavior of "righteous" individuals--those who, when all those around them do evil or are silently complicit in it, are not--people who break ranks, act alone, and risk everything including their lives in order to do the moral thing.
  • (5/5)
    This is a wonderful book, a must read for anyone interested in how and why individuals in society decide to resist that which they believe to be wrong or evil. Philosophical but accessible, with examples from history as well as the present day, Press forces us to ask ourselves how "we avoid making uncomfortable choices in the course of our daily lives" by pinning responsibility for those choices to forces we decide we cannot fight.