Home > non-fiction > Politics In Compassion: Jack Schauer

Politics In Compassion: Jack Schauer

June 4, 2009

Politics In Compassion Is A Rare Commodity

This study of political compassion as viewed within American political history, includes such political leaders and individuals as Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy and Jane Addams, among others. What does a sense of political compassion imply in terms of it being utilised for the common good as well as how it is translated into effective public policies?

Politics In Compassion: The Future Of American Politics wins the prize for the most confusing book I’ve read for this blog. It’s full of jargon, and the unnecessarily over-complexity of the sentence structure means that it shows a horrible lack of clarity. Take, for example, this:

“… Or an individual in identifying with the pain of another human being(s) is made to suffer as well, so that he or she in identifying with the suffering of the hurting individual, that is forming a common bond, hopes to alleviate that suffering as well, an altruistic kind of compassion. However, in order for an individual to display true human compassion, they should not only do in order to feel good about themselves, or as a way of broadcasting the fact that they indeed are a good and altruistic person.”

It’s jumbled (I suspect that even the title is jumbled and should actually be Compassion In Politics, which would make far more sense), lacking in logic, and incredibly poorly-written: consequently, I didn’t even make it to the end of the prologue. I read two pages out of one hundred and eleven, and I strongly suggest that this writer puts a lot of effort into making his work more accessible before he even considers writing anything else.

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  1. June 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    I made an effort to struggle through the quoted paragraph and almost losing the will to live in the process. I think I have a vague glimmer of what the author is trying to say. If I have, then it's neither original or interesting. It's obvious.Such people must have no sense of self-awareness or the ability to recognise readable writing and how it works. Otherwise, they wouldn't even think of publishing their unedited, ungrammatical, incoherent trash, let alone send it to you.

  2. June 8, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Sally, I wonder why so many people write books when they clearly have no talent for it. The only reason I can see is that they don't realise just how badly they write, because they don't realise what it takes to make a good book. I keep coming back to the auditions we see on talent shows like The X-Factor, and all the people who stand up and sing and are truly dreadful, but they still can't see it. Why do they audition? And why do people with no talent for writing still write and publish books?I don't know, I really don't.

  3. June 10, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    “And why do people with no talent for writing still write and publish books?”I think it's because the desire to be a published author is not the same thing as the desire to write.Many bad self-published books show no evidence of any interest in writing: the physical act; the pleasure of putting down words on the page; the process of creating and communicating with language. Plenty of these works seem born out of the weird misconception that publishing a book will make you rich and famous, when only a tiny minority of traditionally published authors make a living out it.What I find most surprising is that some self-published authors clearly have little interest even in reading: they couldn’t offer something so inept if they were avid readers, because they’d know what the real thing looks like.

  4. August 25, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    "What I find most surprising is that some self-published authors clearly have little interest even in reading: they couldn’t offer something so inept if they were avid readers, because they’d know what the real thing looks like."Yes. Absolutely. Beautifully put. And the problem is that the many self-published books which are below par reflect so badly on the ones which are good. A shame, as there must be some self-published treasures out there. Sadly, very few of them have reached my door.

  5. November 21, 2009 at 5:22 am

    Indeed, I'd say it's reading, and reading a lot, that makes you a passible writer. At least, that's the only excuse I can find for my abilities. :-)Jane Smith wonders, "why so many people write books when they clearly have no talent for it? The only reason I can see is that they don't realise just how badly they write…."That's quite correct. It's not clear to them at all, and this is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect, if you'd like a name for it.The quote from Darwin on the Wikipedia page sums it up: "ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge." Without being a good critic, you can't criticise your own writing (or whatever the topic of expertise under consideration is), and thus you you've got no way to edit out the bad stuff, leaving, if you're lucky, a small remainder that's adequate or good.Knowledge of this combined with real expertise in one or two areas is quite powerful since, when you look at something generally accepted as good and something not, and you find you can't tell the difference, you know to seek help with the issue.While I'm here, I'd just like to mention that I think the reviews here are quite well done. I was initially suspicious of the fifteen problems rule, since copy-editing is notoriously difficult and not directly related to writing skill (though certainly important for a published work!), but the rule is bent when appropriate to give us a proper insight into the work.(My verification word: skingsam, which I define as describing a moderately interesting work just a little to painfully ridden with typos and grammar problems to be readable.)

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