A person is a social being. No matter how individualistic you are, you will have to function in a society. You will need to contact with people. Of course, the modern world simplified life for antisocial individuals. However, the necessity to contact and interact with others will definitely remain as long as this world exists. Today, socially-awkward people can feel absolutely comfortable. They can make business on the Internet without having to deal with live communication. Nonetheless, we find that individualistic behavior is less encouraged in less democratic countries. Just imagine how could a deep introvert survive in the Soviet Union where the government wanted to destroy all parts of a person’s individualism?! For individualist, living in individualistic countries would be the best option.
The knowledge of sociology is extremely important for all of us. No matter where and how you live, being familiar with types of different societies and form of governments such as democracy, dictatorship, autocracy, monarchy, and others is essential to choose an appropriate environment for yourself. Therefore, I find sociology one of the most beneficial sciences existing in our life. Without sociology, you will be like a blind person in a huge desert. I devour books on sociology every day. I decided to make a list of the best books on this topic. Every week, I will add new books in this blog post. Thus, the list, of effective, practical, and informative books on sociology will enlarge day by day. Hope you enjoy and benefit from my recommendations.
THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE: WHY VIOLENCE HAS DECLINED
By STEVEN PINKER
‘THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE’ is a great scientific masterpiece written by The Johnston Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Steven Pinker. He was named one of Time magazine’s “Hundred Most Important People in the World Today. Mr. Steven Pinker has been awarded numerous prizes for his research, teaching, and books. He is the author of six famous and popular books ‘How The Mind Works’, ‘The Blank Side’, ‘Words and Rules’, ‘The Stuff of Thought’, and others. I am very proud to review books of such a genius person on my blog.
When I read ‘THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE’, I decided to personally thank Mr. Steven Pinker by email, and I did it. Next day, I got an email from Mr. S. Pinker thanking me for my kind words. Actually, I found the book recommended on Bill Gates’ blog Gates Notes. There is a lot of boring stuff listed on his blog. However, this time, I loved Mr. Bill’s choice.
THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE: WHY VIOLENCE HAS DECLINED explores one of the most important subjects of our life. This thing is VIOLENCE. Violence is a still remaining part of our everyday life. No matter how civilized our world is nowadays, thousands of people are killed, raped, robbed, and kidnapped every day. In fact, human nature has not changed since the days our hunter-gatherer dads were killing each other. We are still animals deep inside.
In ‘THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE’, Mr. Steven Pinker has explored the history of violence from ancient world till nowadays. He proves that people’s nature has not changed a lot since the beginning of the world. We are still wild, treacherous, and predatory inside. Further, Steven Pinker explains the factors that made our life less violent. All the factors are explained in meticulous details. By giving statistical data, Professor Steven Pinker proves that violence has already declined to a very significant point. In fact, we are living in the safest age. ‘THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE’ is a book that combines sociological, genetics, psychology, history, and many other sciences. This is not a book for a ‘quick read’. Therefore, I recommend dedicating several days to read and analyze the subject of the book.
The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin
Edited by CHARLES BOWDEN and MOLLY MOLLOY
‘EL SICARIO’ is a book written on the base of video interview given by a notorious Mexican assassin. ‘EL SICARIO’ is the autobiography of the Mexican killer who was working for Ciudad Juarez drug cartel. The boss of the organization was infamous Amado Carillo. Thus, the Mexican killer was directly working for Amado Carillo. El Sicario was being ordered to kidnap, torture, and kill people in Mexica. These were his duties. The killer was working for the cartel during several decades. Fortunately, due to mystical circumstances, El Sicario – the Mexican killer decided to give up his business and become a devoted Christian. This is what he exactly did.
A famous writer Charles Bowden and Molly Molloy (not sure this is a real name) managed to meet El Sicario and get his interview. Further, by the help of Italian film director Gianfranco Rosi, the documentary film ‘El Sicario, Room 164’ was shown on French and German television in late November 2010. The film has won numerous awards since its premiere in Venice.
Actually, ‘EL SICARIO’ is an autobiographical book. Hence, you may wonder why I decided to include it on the list of best books on sociology. Though the book tells about a life of one person, throughout the book, you will see the whole society of Mexico. You will see Mexican students working for drug cartels, Mexican military and policemen serving drug lords, and loads of Mexican people kidnapped, robbed, blackmailed, and killed in the book. Thus, ‘EL SICARIO’ expresses all society of Mexico. It is a purely sociological project. ‘EL SICARIO’ is a book that shows the reality of corrupt Mexico. When you read the book, you will learn how the Mexican society functions. This is one of the books you won’t be able to reading.
SEX AND THE JAPANESE
The Sensual Side of Japan
By BOYE DE MENTE
‘SEX AND THE JAPANESE’ is a both historical and sociological book exploring the behavior of Japanese women during different stages of the Japanese history. The book is not dedicated to exploring how sensual the Japanese men are, for people are not interested in it much. We are interested in the Japanese women. Therefore, sociologists and ethnographers do everything to satisfy our intellectual demands.
In ‘SEX AND THE JAPANESE’, Mr. Boye De Mente explores sensuality, promiscuity, and sexual behavior of the Japanese people during ancient times, World War 2, and other stages of its history. The author tells about the rise of sexual liberty during the age of great Japanese emperors. Shintoism and Daoism are two main religious institutions that played a major role in the process of sexual emancipation in Japan. Also, Mr. Boye De Mente explores the sexual behavior of the Japanese women during the American invasion of Japan. I found ‘SEX AND THE JAPANESE’ to be a very informative book. If you are interested in sociology, or particularly in the history and ethnography of Japan, I will highly recommend this book to you.
BAD MEN DO WHAT GOOD MEN DREAM
A Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates the Darker Side of Human Behavior
By ROBERT I. SIMON
‘BAD MEN DO WHAT GOOD MEN DREAM’ was written by Mr. Robert I. Simon, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Director, Program in Psychiatry and Law Georgetown University School of Medicine Washington, DC. From the first sentence of this review, it is absolutely clear that the book is written by a highly educated and erudite person. ‘BAD MEN DO WHAT GOOD MEN DREAM’ is an astounding scientific masterpiece exploring the roots of violence and crime. Mr. Robert I. Simon insists that none of us are saints. He says that there is almost no mental, genetic, and intellectual difference between law-abiding and criminal people.
According to ‘BAD MEN DO WHAT GOOD MEN DREAM’, almost every person can commit a crime if put in a suitable and comfortable environment. Impunity generates evil, violence, and crime. I absolutely agree with the author. None of us is a saint. As the author asks and claims: “If you could eliminate your enemies with absolute impunity, how many of you would resist of destroying them?” To be honest, I would kill my enemies of guaranteed impunity on earth and in the heaven. I am sure most of you would do the same thing. Nowadays, when governments have fully monopolized violence, we live in safety and calamity. With anarchism, none of us would feel the same. There are loads of people who want to kill you and seize your possessions. Only existing laws and current political order prevent them from doing so. ‘BAD MEN DO WHAT GOOD MEN DREAM’ is a breathtaking book that will let your understand your nature and violence itself.
THE DICTATOR’S HANDBOOK
By BRUCE BUENO DE MESQUITA
‘THE DICTATOR’S HANDBOOK’ is a very simple, and at the same time, very practical and informative sociological book explaining the subjects of dictatorship and democracy. In the book, Bruce Bueno De Mesquita gives a very detailed explanation on how dictatorships function. The author made tremendously profound research exploring and analyzing different dictatorships around the world. In ‘THE DICTATOR’S HANDBOOK’, the author analyzes autocratic regimes in Africa, Asia, and other regions of the world.
When you see the heading ‘THE DICTATOR’S HANDBOOK’, you might think that the book will teach you how to seize the political power, and then, to remain to stay at the power. No, this book does not give any practical recommendations. Thus, if you want to become a dictator, you will need to look for another manual. Bruce Bueno De Mesquita explains how brute villains seize the political power, get an unlimited access to financial resources of a country, and then, enrich a group of a devoted coalition. In all dictatorships, only a dictator, and his small coalition benefit. The remaining part of a dictatorial country’s population is always impoverished and suppressed. ‘THE DICTATOR’S HANDBOOK’ explains these processes in meticulous details. The book is very informative and practical. I strongly recommend this book to enhance your understanding and knowledge of dictatorship and sociology as well.