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American Poems: Books: The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: Male Wods and Female Images
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 Home » Books » The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: Male Wods and Female Images

The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: Male Wods and Female Images

  • Buy New: $54.01
  • as of 12/28/2014 15:09 EST details
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New (4) Used (7) from $8.48
  • Seller:basementseller101
  • Sales Rank:4,252,391
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Hardcover
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Pages:480
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):1.9
  • Dimensions (in):6.4 x 1.6 x 9.5
  • Publication Date:April 29, 1999
  • ISBN:0713992972
  • EAN:9780713992977
  • ASIN:0713992972
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days

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Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
This text proposes that the invention of the alphabet and the process of reading itself fundamentally rewired the human brain, with profound consequences for culture, history and religion. It claims that the result was an immediate decline in the status of women and the rise of monolithic masculine cultures. Making connections across subjects including brain anatomy and function, anthropology, history and religion, the author argues that the very act of reading reinforced the brain's left hemisphere at the expense of the holistic, concrete, feminine right. The balance between men and women shifted, initiating the decline in women's social and political status.
Amazon.com Review
"Literacy has promoted the subjugation of women by men throughout all but the very recent history of the West," writes Leonard Shlain. "Misogyny and patriarchy rise and fall with the fortunes of the alphabetic written word."

That's a pretty audacious claim, one that The Alphabet Versus the Goddess provides extensive historical and cultural correlations to support. Shlain's thesis takes readers from the evolutionary steps that distinguish the human brain from that of the primates to the development of the Internet. The very act of learning written language, he argues, exercises the human brain's left hemisphere--the half that handles linear, abstract thought--and enforces its dominance over the right hemisphere, which thinks holistically and visually. If you accept the idea that linear abstraction is a masculine trait, and that holistic visualization is feminine, the rest of the theory falls into place. The flip side is that as visual orientation returns to prominence within society through film, television, and cyberspace, the status of women increases, soon to return to the equilibrium of the earliest human cultures. Shlain wisely presents this view of history as plausible rather than definite, but whether you agree with his wide-ranging speculations or not, he provides readers eager to "understand it all" with much to consider. --Ron Hogan


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