The most influential books I have read in 2022
The books on this list may or may not be religious in scope, but they speak to a much broader topic regarding the crisis we face in our culture today. These topics are important as they are an aid to faithful Catholics trying to navigate their day to day lives seeking to find God.
The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to the Sexual Revolution
By Carl R. Trueman
This book has been touted by many as one of the most important books of our time. The author gives a historical account for our modern culture’s obsession with identity. The book brings together works from figures of the past to arrive at what has been appropriately coined as “expressive individualism.” The author goes into detail into how ultimately the search for identity was not found in the doctrines of the sexual revolution and those who bought into it ended up coming out more hurt with the pain permeating through the very culture itself. The author describes how we previously aided human beings through the field of psychology by helping them to become contributing members of society working together for the greater good. Unfortunately, though a shift in psychoanalysis in modern times has been made in which the focus has become on society conforming the individual instead. Ultimately rupturing the integrity of objective truth and meaning. The author goes on to explain how social media has played a role in helping to spread a relativistic ideology like a wildfire.
The book itself is a little dense but the author has provided an abridged version called Strange New World.
Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy
By Mark Regnerus
If one needed an example of how powerful sex is one need look no further than to the book Cheap Sex. In this book we receive insight into why chivalry is dead, why men stay boys and women have no other option than to be more masculine in the modern dating market.
Sexual activity has been more available to anybody than ever before and has given rise to two technologies, pornography and the pill. All this along with online dating has made it easy to have sex on demand, with no consequences, completely voiding the act of any transcendent aspect to a mere activity. The book highlights many studies and surveys illustrating the shift in relationships with sex being more widely available. The book picks up on some key details which previously have been made unaware, one of them is in the area of exploration. The author concludes that for women, many heartaches and bad relationships along with experimenting with same sex partners have given rise to lesbian relationships. Moreover, the conclusion of women having heartaches and bad relationships have been produced by what men are able to get now with more abundance without consequence “sex.” Pornography has robbed men of the need and desire for real intimacy in a relationship and has projected fantasies into reality that do not stand the test of time in monogamy. Ultimately, men and women have caused harm to the mutual union in which they themselves can only have with one another. Men and women have ceased any supportive role with one another with sex being at the heart of relationship development leaving no room for love.
Why Men Behave Badly: The Hidden Roots of Sexual Deception, Harassment and Assault
By David M. Buss
All should heed to the advice presented in this book. The author describes the evolutionary backdrop in regard to sexual conflict. At the heart of the book is the understanding of why men behave the way they do in pursuit of sex. Men have been hardwired for variety when it comes to the opposite sex and to procreate. While many men have developed a Darwinian concept of achieving a means of procreation, it sometimes comes at odds with what we would consider to be moral behavior. Moreover, we understand what women find attractive in a male while also discovering why the “bad boy” is seen as desirable among women. Ultimately the author breaks down the mating rituals that span across time and the reason why humans took an evolutionary move toward the modern mating rituals. The author also describes the characteristics of an individual who is more likely to behave badly. Badly in the book’s context applies to those individuals who will sleep around or even display predatory and dangerous behavior. The book, although titled “When Men Behave Badly” also takes a dive into the psyche of women in the mating market. Women’s behavior though not mirrored completely to that of men, will also exhibit a particular set of behaviors that will rival those of males.
I found this book especially enlightening with regard to being vigilant with what happens in a society with individuals who have developed a hardwired approach to mating. This is a valuable source as it helps us to take an introspective look into ourselves as well, to get a better understanding of our own personal behaviors.
The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Femininity
By Carrie Gress
The author explains the backstory of a group of elite women in the ‘60s and how they were responsible practically overnight for eradicating the nuclear family in society. Their idea was to separate the most fundamental aspect which is attributed to women’s identity, which is that of motherhood. Children were viewed as a threat and kept women down from a better life, and was at the crux of the need of this separation.
This separation resulted in a society that would embrace a pro-self-movement that did not result in the flourishing of women but rather resulted in the deaths of 60 million children, rise in divorce, sexually transmitted diseases, depression, and drug abuse. The cultural shift has resulted in the shift of womanhood itself, with the result being a disconnect from society to what a woman is.
The author takes a scriptural analysis for the treatment of what woman is in light of the greatest woman of all of history, Mary. In identifying Mary, the author also identifies the spirit of the Anti-Mary. The author cleverly draws connections between Our Lady of Fatima, as well as erroneous religious beliefs from the elite women whose sole purpose was to remove motherhood from womanhood. The author also draws a connection between influences of demons which are often portrayed as feminine. Ultimately, the author identifies Mary as the remedy for what ails women. Identifying the character traits and virtues of our blessed mother in order to combat toxic femininity.
I thought this was a great read. especially because it gives you an insight into how much power women truly hold in society, but not in the way you may think. It shows how easily a society crumbles when women lose their sense of self, identity, and purpose. If the notion of women and women-hood is lost we feel those effects immediately.
Disclaimer: The purpose of the book is not to identify gender roles, but rather to why women are valuable by the power that only they themselves hold.
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