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The Right Side of History

How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great
Written by: Ben Shapiro
Narrated by: Ben Shapiro
Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (150 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

America has a God-shaped hole in its heart, argues New York Times best-selling author Ben Shapiro, and we shouldn't fill it with politics and hate.

In 2016, Ben Shapiro spoke at UC Berkeley. Hundreds of police officers were required from 10 UC campuses across the state to protect his speech, which was - ironically - about the necessity for free speech and rational debate. 

He came to argue that Western civilization is in the midst of a crisis of purpose and ideas. Our freedoms are built upon the twin notions that every human being is made in God’s image and that human beings were created with reason capable of exploring God’s world. 

We can thank these values for the birth of science, the dream of progress, human rights, prosperity, peace, and artistic beauty. Jerusalem and Athens built America, ended slavery, defeated the Nazis and the Communists, lifted billions from poverty, and gave billions spiritual purpose. Jerusalem and Athens were the foundations of the Magna Carta and the Treaty of Westphalia; they were the foundations of the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. 

Civilizations that rejected Jerusalem and Athens have collapsed into dust. The USSR rejected Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, substituting a new utopian vision of “social justice” - and they starved and slaughtered tens of millions of human beings. The Nazis rejected Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, and they shoved children into gas chambers. Venezuela rejects Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, and citizens of their oil-rich nation have been reduced to eating dogs.

We are in the process of abandoning Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, favoring instead moral subjectivism and the rule of passion. And we are watching our civilization collapse into age-old tribalism, individualistic hedonism, and moral subjectivism. We believe we can reject Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law and satisfy ourselves with intersectionality, or scientific materialism, or progressive politics, or authoritarian governance, or nationalistic solidarity. 

We can’t.

The West is special, and in The Right Side of History, Ben Shapiro bravely explains that it’s because too many of us have lost sight of the moral purpose that drives us each to be better, or the sacred duty to work together for the greater good, or both. A stark warning, and a call to spiritual arms, this audiobook may be the first step in getting our civilization back on track.

©2019 Ben Shapiro (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

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common sense look at politics and how we got here

I was a tad skeptical in the beginning and how the connections would conclude but I wholeheartedly recommend it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable

Though I took issue with a few things, I found Ben's overall case to be well reasoned and articulate. It seems like a good jumping off point to learn more, which he encourages in the book. It leaves me somewhat more hopeful than I was before going through it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I like Ben, but...

In one phrase: God and USA good, most everything else bad.

I like Ben, and this books has some key messages; however, it is a pseudo-historical account to justify his own version of history.

Nothing wrong with that, c’est la vie after all; I just expected something different, with more objectivity perhaps.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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good start, but ends too biased

vgood start, but ends too biased. more political than balanced history. no real solutions to solve the societal dishrunt

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Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro is a shining light in a day and age where a dark shadow looms. His thought and careful presentation of his thoughts and his ability to bring clarity is appreciated. Thank you Ben for what you do.

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Must read

Fantastic account of the formation of the West, without going so in-depth to make it incoherent. Ben does a great job in laying out the reasons why the West is unique, why its important to study its history, why we're in danger of losing it all today, and how to do your part in continuing what countless individuals spent their lives to preserve. With common communal and individual goals, and with an understanding of the role that a higher authority has played and plays in society, we can continue what our ancestors started.

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Great book loaded with information.

Quick narration but a short pause put me back on track. Highly recommend this book.

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Much better than expected!

And I had high expectations! This is a book I will listen to again. I am 67 years of age and thought I had a pretty good grasp of history, but I learned so much from this well-written book. This a history of human thought - but made relevant to our world today. This gives hope for my grandkids’ future IF we adopt the truth here presented.

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Great Listen

Ben gives a great run down of the history of morals and ideas and what got us to where we are now. Well worth the listen.

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awesome

loved it just found it was best to slow Ben down to about 80%
😀

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  • Benjamin
  • 2019-03-27

As an atheist

As an atheist I want to let others like me know that the book has a lot of religious material. And there is a slight slant towards making atheism seem illogical. Dont let that deter you though. There is a fantastic underlying premise to the book and as someone who loves history, Ben is spot on when he points to the merging of Jewish spirituality and Greek reasoning as the turning point for society into modernity. And it is undeniable that the church built a framework for the rise of European societies. While I dont actually believe in God, the belief in him might be the only reason we made it. If only because it humbled people to see themselves as equal in the 'eyes of God'.

127 of 149 people found this review helpful

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  • Emmett
  • 2019-03-23

I didn’t know Ben could talk so slow

For those that know Ben and listen to him speak you know he talks very fast. In this recording he slows it down A LOT. If you speed it up to 1.25x or 1.5x you will have normal Ben speed and finish the book quicker. Great Work Ben!

130 of 160 people found this review helpful

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  • CV Padre
  • 2019-04-22

History of Philosophy

The book reads very much like a philosophy class. I enjoyed the historical review. Shapiro makes few conclusions in the bulk of the book, although his tone does occasionally reveal his viewpoint. The end of the book is worth the wait, though. He states clearly the greatest imperative to people who believe in hard work, individual merit, freedom and respect for everyone - retake the (read the book)!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben
  • 2019-03-21

The first time Ben is speaking slowly!

I needed to raise the speed to 1.5 to hear ben in his usual speaking voice

52 of 72 people found this review helpful

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  • Hunter Jacen Taylor
  • 2019-04-02

Thorough and brilliant

You ever get the sensation when someone explains something to you, that you knew it all along but never had the ability to put it into words?

That’s what this book is and is a testament to the veracity of this work and the clarity and precision of its language.

Shapiro does a wonderful job of summarizing the history of Western values as well as the forces currently besieging them. I cannot recommend this work highly enough, and this will forever be one of the 5 books I will have wherever I go.

16 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 2019-04-11

Interesting Project, but...

Very interesting project but Shaprio cherry picks and misrepresents the history of philosophy. I was under the impression that he had a much better grasp. Instead this was an argument for those all ready to buy into the conclusion before seeing the evidence. Somewhat disappointing. Not recommended for those who know well the history of philosophy.

15 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Juan Dueñas
  • 2019-03-28

Thought Provoking

I am an atheist, raised Catholic, and will teach my kids the value of religion.

15 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon X.
  • 2019-04-19

Insightful analysis of how we got here, proscriptive of a future to come

I enjoyed how articulate Shapiro is in his painting a picture of how Judeo-Christian values served as the foundation for our modern civilization. What got me, a college student recently finding religion, thinking was how many around me seemed to hold these values in contempt—increasingly my peers turn away from God and do not recognize the immense gift of our history. I’m hopeful that we can all become more grateful, especially after reading this work.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-04-20

very good read

Very good argument and well written. what I like about this author is he encourages reader to look at the opposing view and draw your own conclusions. very good book worth a read.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Conor Ryan
  • 2019-03-19

Long-Awaited & Excellent

I almost always listen to audiobooks at 1.50X speed, but this wasn't exactly an option for Ben Shapiro's rate of speech. Very well organized, concise, insightful, relevant, and well-timed for the issues of today. More great stuff from Ben--Highly recommended!

29 of 46 people found this review helpful