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* Flashback Friday * Rational Polemics by Richard Todd Devens

Friday, February 3, 2017

If you remember back when I first started On My Kindle, I reviewed this book and rated it poorly.

Maybe poorly is an understatement. I gave this book a one-star review on Amazon; however, the review is no longer available because I removed it since I was paid for the review.

You might be asking "Why are you featuring a book that you disliked?" The thing is, I don't like every book that I read. On the surface, it looks like I'm pretty easygoing when it comes to books; however, I generally do not accept books to review if I'm pretty sure I'm not going to like them. I took a risk on Rational Polemics and it didn't pay off.

What If Everything You Know Is Wrong?

Rational Polemics is a provocative, controversial, outrageous book that dares to challenge the ideas and values that most of the world has been spoon-fed from infancy onward. With personal anecdotes, tongue-in-cheek humor, and refreshing candor, author Richard Devens thinks outside the traditional strictures of convention and morality, and asks important questions, including: Does poetic justice exist? Is forgiveness always the best method to achieve closure? Do we have the right to end our own lives? Should drugs be legal? Can prostitution be beneficial? If you’re ready to consider the true nature of evil, to look at the hypocrisies inherent in religion, to think about whether humanity really is a “higher form of life,” and to open your mind to new ideas about subjects ranging from adultery to cannibalism to rude people and distracting background music, Rational Polemics will be a welcome breath of fresh air from a writer who might be one of the most original thinkers of our time.

Reviews of Rational Polemics

According to Amazon and Goodreads, Rational Polemics has received mixed reviews. The book blogging community has mixed feelings about it as well, and the review from Kirkus parallels my thoughts on the book.

The main reason why I gave Rational Polemics a one-star rating is that the author presented readers with anecdotal evidence, personal observations, and generalizations that he treated as facts. The book is marketed as a philosophical work, but nothing in his bio or the book itself indicates that he has studied humanity or society as a whole.

I was further perplexed by the fact that the author is an atheist and believes in the concepts of "good" and "evil;" concepts that the atheist community avoid because the terms are deeply rooted in religion and their meanings are incredibly subjective. 

I was expecting something different from this book; I was expecting fact-based arguments that would alter my perceptions of society. What I got were anecdotes and conclusions that might be considered as liberal and forward-thinking to right wing conservatives.

Where to Find Rational Polemics

About Richard Todd Devens

Richard Devens is a classically trained pianist, piano instructor, and writer. His article What Is Talent? appeared in the September-October 1992 issue of Piano Guild Notes. Earl Wild-The Romantic Master, a full-length interview of the late great piano virtuoso, was the cover feature of the November-December 1996 issue. Richard is co-author of the book Martial Arts for Kids (Weatherhill, 1997). He has also contributed articles to WUSHU KUNG FU, Official Karate, Karate/Kung-fu Illustrated, and BLACK BELT. He lives in New York.
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What did you think of Rational Polemics? Let me know in the comments!