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In the Eye of the Hurricane: Tales of Good and Evil, Help and Harm [Paperback]

By Philip Hallie (Author)
Our Price $ 16.96  
Retail Value $ 19.95  
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Item Number 93526  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   255
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 31, 2001
Publisher   Wesleyan
ISBN  0819564591  
EAN  9780819564597  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In the Eye of the Hurricane: Tales of Good and Evil, Help and Harm continues Philip Hallie's lifelong exploration of the human choice to do good or evil. Hallie examines the behavior of Major Julius Schmaling, a German commander who saved the lives of Chambon villagers during World War II; of Joshua James, a sea captain who saved dozens of shipwrecked sailors by rowing out to sea in the fiercest of storms; and of Katchen Coley, his neighbor and founder of the Connection, a halfway house where she devoted herself to helping drug- and alcohol-addicted people.

In the Eye of the Hurricane also provides special insight into the author's own life, his struggle with morality, and how he comes to terms with his own ethics. He tries to understand his own ambiguous moral actions, first as a child in the Jewish ghetto of Chicago, fighting to protect himself and his younger brother from anti-Semitic bullies, then as a World War II artilleryman, and finally as a philosopher of ethics who realized he could not be objective in studying the viciousness of human beings throughout history.

A highly accessible work that places difficult ethical questions in a personal, and very readable context, this book remains grounded in the day-to-day reality of the stories, allowing readers to come to their own conclusions about human nature.

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More About Philip Hallie

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Hallie (deceased) was a professor of philosophy at Wesleyan College.

Philip Hallie currently resides in the state of Connecticut.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality   [3234  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General   [14516  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Just on two chapters.  Mar 7, 2005
I'm only writing this review about two chapters, those dealing with Henry David Thoreau. This book will gain (is gaining) much hype and is being assigned, on numerous syllabi, in contrast to Thoreau. Hallie grossly simplifies Thoreau's thought, and I'd caution the student looking at both to read Thoreau's "Plea for Captain John Brown" and "Civil Disobedience" before heeding Hallie's criticism. In his other book, Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed, Hallie writes about a village that became a stop on an "Underground Railroad" for Jews escaping the Holocaust. Yet, in this book, he makes no mention of Thoreau's (and Emerson's, and Alcott's) own contribution to America's own Underground Railroad.

Meanwhile, Hallie seems to have trouble with the English language. Again and again, he criticizes Thoreau for his use of terms like "vulgar sadness," concluding that Thoreau himself thinks that all sadness is vulgar. Hallie doesn't seem to understand that vulgar is an adjective and that, in using it, Thoreau is therefore writing about a particular kind of sadness: that kind of sadness which is vulgar. In Hallie's black and white ethical world, such subtleties aren't allowed.

I could say much more about the Thoreau chapters in this book, but I should, instead, just point out a fact from Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed. In that book Hallie reports that a villager from Le Chambon confronts him with something like the words "Don't talk to me of good. I wasn't trying to do good." In essence, this villager is giving him the same message that Thoreau was trying to express: compassion cannot bear to be sentimentalized. The irony of the similarity between this villager's view and Thoreau's is staring Hallie right in the face, but he doesn't see it. One reason for this might be that Hallie appears to have little sensitivity to irony at all. (To get a clue what this lack of sensitivity to irony means, consider that, in a dictionary of literary terms written in the 1940s, the authors wrote that "An awareness of irony is one of the hallmarks of an intelligent mind.")

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