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Baxter8
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25-08-2013, 03:59 PM
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Is there a book that changed your Life

The book that changed it all for me was The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell. An absolutely astonishing book about, inequality, poverty and early socialism.

One day a secretary I worked with handed back this book to another guy at work, I casually asked what it was about. The guy's father had been an active member of the Trade Union movement. I asked him if I could read it - he said I could keep it and to this day it is prominent on my bookshelf.

As a result of reading this I went back to university aged 30 and studied social policy research. I am a committed socialist, I believe as a direct result of this book. It shapes all my views about the world.
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25-08-2013, 04:35 PM
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Re: Is there a book that changed your Life

I agree with what you say Sandy .....
Lots of films and dramas did that for me, but most of all documentaries ..
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25-08-2013, 04:38 PM
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Re: Is there a book that changed your Life

The Bible - made me a humanist!
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25-08-2013, 04:41 PM
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Re: Is there a book that changed your Life

Originally Posted by Twizard ->
The Bible - made me a humanist!
Doesn't make a lot of sense does it .....
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25-08-2013, 04:58 PM
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Re: Is there a book that changed your Life

50 Shades of Grey!

Sorry, couldn't resist.

P.S. No, I have not read it, sheesh
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25-08-2013, 05:42 PM
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Re: Is there a book that changed your Life

I remember in my mid 20's reading about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's expulsion from Russia and how at that time the Western World became aware of him and his books. Young, emotional and quite zealous I first read 'One day in the life', then 'The Gulag Archipelago' and finally 'Cancer Ward' and can only say to anyone contemplating embracing a 'socialist' type doctrine, read these first. They should soon make you revise your thinking.

One other book which I could say has had a somewhat long term effect on my thinking and belief system is by Frank Yerby and is called Judas my Brother. A historical novel set in the time of Jesus and told in first person by a 'thirteenth' disciple, it has many footnotes citing supposedly real historians of the time (if I remember rightly I looked these up at the time and they actually existed and the quotes etc were real) The thing is the author very cleverly has explanations for all the miracles. And this got me truly thinking and wondering. How if something which seemed truly inexplicable 2000 years ago, could be easily explained with today's knowledge then should we, then, continue to believe the explanation proposed by those ignorant of the possible truth. After all we no longer believe that thunder is the noise of the gods playing bowls, or moving furniture, we no longer believe that volcanic eruptions are caused by angry gods demanding sacrifice; and yet we continue to believe in an invisible, all knowing, all seeing, deity who demands in total obeisance? So this book was my first step in questioning Christianity as we know it, and science etc were the following steps.

This is not to say that I do not hold true the basic concepts of right and wrong, or of compassion and helping others, I do.
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Baxter8
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25-08-2013, 06:10 PM
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Re: Is there a book that changed your Life

Originally Posted by Pats CG ->
I agree with what you say Sandy .....
Lots of films and dramas did that for me, but most of all documentaries ..

Yes me too. The most recent one was the film The Hurt Locker - which had a profound effect on me. I still get goosebumps when I think of it.
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Baxter8
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25-08-2013, 06:13 PM
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Re: Is there a book that changed your Life

Oh I shall seek those books out.

Have you ever read "The Case for Christ" - I haven't read it all but I think it might counterbalance what you found in Judas My Brother.

Originally Posted by daisymay ->
I remember in my mid 20's reading about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's expulsion from Russia and how at that time the Western World became aware of him and his books. Young, emotional and quite zealous I first read 'One day in the life', then 'The Gulag Archipelago' and finally 'Cancer Ward' and can only say to anyone contemplating embracing a 'socialist' type doctrine, read these first. They should soon make you revise your thinking.

One other book which I could say has had a somewhat long term effect on my thinking and belief system is by Frank Yerby and is called Judas my Brother. A historical novel set in the time of Jesus and told in first person by a 'thirteenth' disciple, it has many footnotes citing supposedly real historians of the time (if I remember rightly I looked these up at the time and they actually existed and the quotes etc were real) The thing is the author very cleverly has explanations for all the miracles. And this got me truly thinking and wondering. How if something which seemed truly inexplicable 2000 years ago, could be easily explained with today's knowledge then should we, then, continue to believe the explanation proposed by those ignorant of the possible truth. After all we no longer believe that thunder is the noise of the gods playing bowls, or moving furniture, we no longer believe that volcanic eruptions are caused by angry gods demanding sacrifice; and yet we continue to believe in an invisible, all knowing, all seeing, deity who demands in total obeisance? So this book was my first step in questioning Christianity as we know it, and science etc were the following steps.

This is not to say that I do not hold true the basic concepts of right and wrong, or of compassion and helping others, I do.
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25-08-2013, 06:18 PM
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Re: Is there a book that changed your Life

Dunno if any particular book actually changed my life but, as a child, Tom's Midnight Garden (Philippa Pierce) made a huge impression, especially the skating to Ely.

I used to ice-skate and the thought of skating on the frozen river sounded amazing. I could almost smell it
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25-08-2013, 07:02 PM
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Re: Is there a book that changed your Life

I have been influenced at times by books on the spiritual dimension in my life. Authors as varied as Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, St Augustine, Krishnamurti & others.

I can't say that any ONE of their books changed my life but they gave me a little more light.

Diogenes the world's greatest thinker was visited by Alexander the Great, who proclaimed himself to be the greatesr warrior in the world.

Standing in the front of Diogenes's home, a large barrel, Alexander shouted
"what have you to say to me?"

Diogenes replied


"Stand thee a little less in my light"
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