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Download Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times fb2, epub

by Eyal Press

Download Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times fb2, epub

ISBN: 0374143420
Author: Eyal Press
Language: English
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (February 14, 2012)
Pages: 208
Category: Psychology & Counseling
Subcategory: Health
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 804
Size Fb2: 1927 kb
Size ePub: 1387 kb
Size Djvu: 1164 kb
Other formats: rtf docx txt lrf


Few of us will ever face a crisis of conscience of the magnitude that Press (Absolute Convictions, 2007) illuminates in this fascinating examination of courage, and yet who among us hasn't pondered how we would react when confronted with a profound moral or ethical dilemma?

Few of us will ever face a crisis of conscience of the magnitude that Press (Absolute Convictions, 2007) illuminates in this fascinating examination of courage, and yet who among us hasn't pondered how we would react when confronted with a profound moral or ethical dilemma? In placing the spotlight on four specific individuals, Press allows readers to place themselves amid controversial circumstances while he challenges the assumption that it takes an extraordinary individual to perform extraordinary deeds.

Beautiful Souls book. Start by marking Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

In his first book, Absolute Convictions, Eyal Press showed how anti-abortion crusaders in Buffalo achieved intense .

In his first book, Absolute Convictions, Eyal Press showed how anti-abortion crusaders in Buffalo achieved intense solidarity in pursuit of their goals, including the murder of an abortion provider and intimidation of others, such as the author’s father. In Beautiful Souls, Press examines another side of strong group conviction: the ability to break ranks with others who display absolute unanimity. He wants to know why, even in situations of seemingly total conformity, there are always some people who refuse to go along?

Beautiful Souls,’ by Eyal Press. By LOUISA THOMASMARCH 9, 2012. It is not a book of moral philosophy. Press is a journalist, and he is interested in how moral problems play out in particular lives

Beautiful Souls,’ by Eyal Press. Continue reading the main story. Press is a journalist, and he is interested in how moral problems play out in particular lives. To that end, he relates the experiences of Grüninger and three others: a Serb who saved the lives of Croats by lying about their ethnic identity; an Israeli soldier from an elite unit who refused to serve in the occupied territories; and a financial industry whistle-blower. Press is not simply storytelling, however.

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Beautiful Souls : The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times. Select Format: Hardcover.

Аудиокнига "Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times", Eyal Press. Читает Sean Runnette. Мгновенный доступ к вашим любимым книгам без обязательной ежемесячной платы. Слушайте книги через. Слушайте книги через Интернет и в офлайн-режиме на устройствах Android, iOS, Chromecast, а также с помощью Google Ассистента. Скачайте Google Play Аудиокниги сегодня!

Beautiful Souls helps us understand why a minority stands on principle when a majority fails.

Beautiful Souls helps us understand why a minority stands on principle when a majority fails. It’s an important book for our time, about conscience, group pressures, ethics, and psyches, and a beautifully crafted one that never falls prey to simple answers about matters of conscience. On October 23, 1998, Barnett Slepian, an abortion provider in Buffalo, New York, was killed by a sniper’s bullet. Days later, another local doctor, Shalom Press, received a threat that he was next on the list. Within hours, the Press family was under police protection, and America’s violent struggle over abortion had come to the blue-collar city of Buffalo.

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.

Comments:

ZEr0
Much has been written about how ordinary people can come to commit atrocities such as the Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide or even scams such as Enron. Eyal Press, however, takes the opposite approach. Using four case studies, along with comparisons to similar individuals in similar circumstances, along with published research, Press attempts to explore why some people don't commit atrocities. Why are some people willing to break the law, risk imprisonment, lose their jobs, family and friends in order to protect other people?

Each of the four character studies is remarkably different in time, place and circumstance from the others. Paul Grüninger was a Swiss border guard who broke the law by forging papers to allow Jewish refugees into Switzerland after 1938, knowing that it was illegal, but also knowing that the Jews faced persecution and death if he forced them to return. Aleksander Jevti' deliberately misidentified Croats as Serbs, knowing that the Serbian captors would otherwise likely kill all the Croats. After serving for years in an elite unit of the Israeli Defense Forces, Avner Wishnitzer ultimately publicly refused to serve in the occupied territories after he was confronted by the oppression of Palestinians by Jewish settlers. And finally, Leyla Wydler refused to sell financial products she suspected were fraudulent, and even filed reports with the SEC.

Press explores many of the common assumptions about dissenters, refusniks and whistleblowers. Are such individuals strongly individualistic? Are they passionate liberal activists? Are they people who, before their act of defiance, stood out in any noticeable ways? In fact, Press's research and interviews lead him to much the opposite conclusion. Resisters tend to be ordinary people, often conservative, and very much a part of the country/organization they end up resisting. They don't set out to be resisters. Rather, they are people who believe strongly in the rightness of their country/organization. In their naïve idealism, such "beautiful souls" often stumble upon what they believe to be an anomaly - something that is not the way it should be. It is precisely because they believe so much in the messages they've internalized (e.g., that Switzerland is indeed welcoming of all immigrants in need or that the Israeli Army is indeed the most moral fighting force) that they can't proceed against the ideals they believe it. These naïve, trusting souls often assume that if the problem is only identified and reported, it will be fixed.

What they find, however, often to their shock, is that they are the one condemned and punished. Grüninger couldn't comprehend how anyone in his position could have done anything differently, yet he lost his position, his livelihood and even his friends. Wydler honestly believed that the American financial system, unlike the financial systems she knew in Mexico and South America, was so well regulated that the questionable practices she found would be investigated and corrected. Instead, she too lost her job and many of her friends.

In each chapter Press also explores issues related to conforming versus resisting. In the first chapter he explores the Milgram experiments which focused on the role of an authority figure and also the function of the distance or presence of the victim. Grüninger, Press believes, did what he did because he failed to distance himself from the Jewish refugees like many of his colleagues did and, hence, he couldn't escape from the logical consequences - and the human impact - of his actions.

In the second chapter, Press explores the impact of the group. Despite being very similar in appearance and culture, there was (and remains) a deep divide between Serbs and Croats. Press explores what it took for Jevti' to go against his own group in saving the lives of members of the other group, what it has cost him since, and what kind of person he is to have done that. Most Serbs reject Jevti' for what he did for the Croats, but, despite his deed on their behalf, most Croats still don't accept him because he is a Serb.

The third chapter explores the issue of the morality of refusing. If it is moral for some people to refuse on moral grounds (e.g., soldiers refusing to serve because of the oppression of Palestinians), what's to say it's not moral for others to refuse on the opposite grounds (e.g., soldiers who refuse to remove Jews from illegal settlements)? Who determines when a law is or isn't moral and who should therefore be allowed to break the law? Or is it merely a matter of each individual's personal conscience and choice? In which case, what good is the law?

And finally, the fourth chapter explores the pressure of conformity. Using Solomon Asch's experiments on conformity as a backdrop, Press explores how the pressure to go along can actually cause a dissenter to start to question him/herself. In Asch's experiments there was a clear right answer, but subjects were put in a room with a group who all agreed on another answer. In the majority of cases, the subject would switch his or her answer to conform to the group. In Wydler's case, she often found herself questioning her own judgment regarding the financial products she suspected because none of the other brokers seemed to share her concerns, and they all happily sold them (and even more happily pocketed the bonuses).

Actually, the chapters aren't entirely that discrete, as each chapter meanders through many different moral and social issues surrounding "saying no, breaking ranks and heeding the call of conscience." In fact, my biggest criticism of the book is that it is sometimes too fluid and disjointed and tried to cover too much in too short a space which leaves some ideas not fully developed. Nonetheless, I think the book is a worthwhile and valuable study of dissent, the motivations behind it and the consequences of it. Naturally, most of us like to think that we would be the one to stand up and call out wrongness when we see it. But it's only when the rubber meets the road that we actually find out whether we would or not. No one who hasn't been tested can say for sure, so it's best if we all reserve our judgment. If anything, after reading this book, I fear people may be less inclined to speak out. As Press documents, the result of being the squeaky wheel isn't always getting more grease Oftentimes the squeaky wheel is simply replaced.
Ghile
Eyal Press' excellent book examines four case studies of people taking huge personal risks to act against the prevailing evil of their situations.

* A Swiss policeman breaks the law to allow Jews into the country in 1938.
* A Serb uses quick thinking to save Croats from certain death in 1991.
* An elite Israeli soldier refuses to serve in the occupied territories in 2000.
* A financial adviser blows the whistle on a Ponzi scheme in 2002.

The novelty of Press' approach is that he is studying the nature of good rather than the nature of evil. He is complementing the work of Arendt Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (Penguin Classics), Fromm Escape from Freedom, Lifton Home from the War: Learning From Vietnam Veterans, Milgram, etc. who all tried to explain how ordinary people can become instruments of evil. Press wants to understand how ordinary people become instruments of good despite the powerful forces arrayed against such an outcome.

Each case begins with a dramatic description of the key events and their aftermath. This is followed by very personal interviews with the key people involved (or those who knew them). Press then ruminates on the deeper lessons of the case, tying the particular to the general with references to research in the field and to other case studies.

The phrase "Beautiful Souls" sounds overly admiring in English, but In Israel, the Hebrew equivalent, "yafeh nefesh," connotes being naïve. Naïve idealism is indeed what all these beautiful souls share: a belief in the ideals of their country, their army, or their profession. This idealism informed their action; the prevailing hypocrisy led to their suffering. The Swiss policeman is not rehabilitated until after his death. The Israeli soldier becomes a pariah. The financial adviser is ruined, risking her family's well-being.

Would these people do the same thing again knowing the price they would pay? Most admit to having had no idea what they were up against, what suffering they would endure. Nevertheless, they agree that their conscience would permit no other action.

Press argues that these people do make a difference beyond the scope of their immediate situation: their naïve idealism may be shattered, they may suffer dire consequences, but their actions ultimately do make the world a better place. Just as Thoreau's impotent protest against the Mexican War served to inspire Martin Luther King and others, the examples set by these Beautiful Souls will, with Press' help, reach generations yet unborn.

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