Recommended books

Overview

The Optimistic Jew was not written in a vacuum.  Following is a partial annotated bibliography of the books that influenced author Tsvi Bisk in the writing of The Optimistic Jew and he recommends them to the questioning reader. They are all linked to www.amazon.com for easy purchase if you so wish.


Preferred Futuring

Preferred Futuring

by Lawrence L Lippitt (Berrett-Koehler 1998) Once again a subtitle says it all: Envision the Future You want and Unleash

The Idea of Progress. An Inquiry into Its Origin and Growth

The Idea of Progress. An Inquiry into Its Origin and Growth

by J B Bury (Echo Library, 2006) The Commercial Revolution, Scientific Revolution, and Industrial Revolution on the background of Renaissance

Jesus, Son of Man

Jesus, Son of Man

by Rudolf Augstein (Urizen Books, 1977) If a Jew had written this book he might have set off a wave

Where Judaism Differed

Where Judaism Differed

by Abba Hillel Silver (1956) Get it now

Judaism and Christianity: The Differences

Judaism and Christianity: The Differences

by Trude Weiss-Rosmarin (Jonathan David, 1972) Best would be to cite from the back cover of this book: “…the notion

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth

by Juan Enriquez  Three Rivers Press, 2005) Ostensibly a pronouncement about the extraordinary impact that genetics is about to make

The Art of War

The Art of War

by Sun Tzu, (Foreword by B. H. Liddell Hart, Translation and Introduction by Samuel B. Griffith (Oxford University Press, 1971)

Strategy: Second Revised Edition

Strategy: Second Revised Edition

by B. H. Liddell Hart (Plume, 1991) Liddell Hart was considered one of the world’s foremost military thinkers of the

Global Paradox

Global Paradox

by John Naisbitt (Avon Books, 1995) Popular Futurism in the vein of Toffler, but even more journalistic and accessible. The

The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam

The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam

by Barbara W. Tuchman (Ballentine Books 1985) Chapter One of this book is entitled “Pursuit of Policy Contrary to Self-Interest”. 

The Crisis of German Ideology : Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich

The Crisis of German Ideology : Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich

by George L. Mosse (Howard Fertig 1999) A vigorous analysis of the cultural, social and psychological pathologies that laid the

What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East

What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East

by Bernard Lewis (Harper Perennial, 2003) The title is the theme of the book. The following Amazon review extract will

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

by Thomas L. Friedman (Paperback – Jul 24, 2007) This is an easy book to parody and the anti-globalist cognoscenti

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

by Malcolm Gladwell (Abacus  2001) Easy to condemn as “pop sociology” this book is of great historical value in that

The American Constitution for and Against: The Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers

The American Constitution for and Against: The Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers

by J. R. Pole (Hill and Wang, 1987) The debate over how to create an efficient system of government without

Origins of Totalitarian Democracy

Origins of Totalitarian Democracy

by Talmon J.L. (Norton 1970) This book contrasts liberal democracy (which puts the individual in the center) with totalitarian democracy

The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad

The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad

by Fareed Zakaria (Norton 2004) Constitutionalize before you democratize.  This is the essential theme of this book, which is destined

Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself

Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself

By varying accounts there are 25-30 million free agents at present in the United States

The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader

The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader

by Arthur Hertzberg (Jewish Publication Society 1997) This is an anthology of works by major Zionist thinkers. It introduced me

Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Power at the Edge of the 21st Century

Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Power at the Edge of the 21st Century

by Alvin Toffler (Bantam 1991) This final volume of Toffler’s trilogy argues that the control of knowledge, facilitated by the

The Third Wave

The Third Wave

by Alvin Toffler (Bantam, 1981) The second book of Toffler’s trilogy beginning with Future Shock and ending with Powershift covers

Creating Alternative Futures: The End of Economics

Creating Alternative Futures: The End of Economics

by Hazel Henderson (Kumarian Press, 1996) This was the first book that made me realize that GNP figures include traffic

The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture

The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture

by Fritjof Capra (Bantam, 1984) The back page of Capra’s book contains the following:  “We have reached a time of

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

by Eric Hoffer (Harper Perennial Classics, 2002) This is a companion piece to Fromm’s Escape From Freedom. It is an

Escape from Freedom

Escape from Freedom

by Erich Fromm (Owl Books 1994) Fromm originally wrote this work to explore the psychological reason for the success of

You Shall Be As Gods: A Radical Interpretation of the Old Testament and Its Tradition

You Shall Be As Gods: A Radical Interpretation of the Old Testament and Its Tradition

by Erich Fromm (Henry Holt 1991) Fromm is a modernist, a humanist and an optimist and interprets Jewish tradition from

Judaism Beyond God: A Radical New Way to Be Jewish

Judaism Beyond God: A Radical New Way to Be Jewish

by Sherwin Wine (Paperback Society for Humanistic Judaism 1985) A critical philosophical and historical overview of Jewish identity with clear

THE RELIGION OF ETHICAL NATIONHOOD Judaism’s Contribution to World Peace

THE RELIGION OF ETHICAL NATIONHOOD Judaism’s Contribution to World Peace

by MORDECAI M. KAPLAN (Reconstructionist Press, 1970) Ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America his

The Abolition of Man

The Abolition of Man

by C. S. Lewis (Harper, 2001) C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the most influential Christian writers of his

Man’s Search for Meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning

by Viktor E. Frankl (Beacon Press 2006) Frankl believed that man’s deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose

The Third Force: The Psychology of Abraham Maslow

The Third Force: The Psychology of Abraham Maslow

by Frank Goble (Grossman Publishers, 1970) Abraham Maslow offers an alternative to Freudianism and Behaviorism. This book examines Maslow’s hierarchy