MELP Book of the Week
The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great
by Ben Shapiro
In 2016, Ben Shapiro spoke at UC Berkeley. Hundreds of police officers were required from 10 UC campuses across the state to protect his speech, which was -- ironically -- about the necessity for free speech and rational debate.
He came to argue that Western Civilization is in the midst of a crisis of purpose and ideas. Our freedoms are built upon the twin notions that every human being is made in God’s image and that human beings were created with reason capable of exploring God’s world.
We can thank these values for the birth of science, the dream of progress, human rights, prosperity, peace, and artistic beauty. Jerusalem and Athens built America, ended slavery, defeated the Nazis and the Communists, lifted billions from poverty and gave billions spiritual purpose. Jerusalem and Athens were the foundations of the Magna Carta and the Treaty of Westphalia; they were the foundations of Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.
Civilizations that rejected Jerusalem and Athens have collapsed into dust. The USSR rejected Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, substituting a new utopian vision of “social justice” – and they starved and slaughtered tens of millions of human beings. The Nazis rejected Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, and they shoved children into gas chambers. Venezuela rejects Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, and citizens of their oil-rich nation have been reduced to eating dogs.
We are in the process of abandoning Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law, favoring instead moral subjectivism and the rule of passion. And we are watching our civilization collapse into age-old tribalism, individualistic hedonism, and moral subjectivism. We believe we can reject Judeo-Christian values and Greek natural law and satisfy ourselves with intersectionality, or scientific materialism, or progressive politics, or authoritarian governance, or nationalistic solidarity.
The West is special, and in The Right Side of History, Ben Shapiro bravely explains that it’s because too many of us have lost sight of the moral purpose that drives us each to be better, or the sacred duty to work together for the greater good, or both. A stark warning, and a call to spiritual arms, this book may be the first step in getting our civilization back on track.
We invite you to read, discuss, and share.
The Mamie Eisenhower Library Project (MELP) is the NFRW’s oldest program, celebrating more than 50 years of book donations from an approved list to schools, libraries, hospitals and other public institutions.
Bookplates are mailed to clubs upon receipt of the list of books to be donated. This enables the Literacy Committee to track the numbers and names of books being donated by Republican women across the country.
To request bookplates, clubs should send a list of the books they are donating to Literacy Committee member Cathy Percefull. Include the club name, the title and author of each book, and the address to which the bookplates should be sent. Bookplates will be mailed in return.
The Literacy Committee will provide the state presidents with a list of participating clubs and the number of books they donate each year.
Additions to the MELP Recommended Book List are made periodically, and the committee encourages recommendations from members.
MEMBER TIP: Download past MELP Book Lists by logging in and visiting the Digital Resource Library.