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text 2017-05-29 18:41
Fingersmith: 56%.
Fingersmith - Juanita McMahon,Sarah Waters

It is amazing to me that at one time, "doctors" genuinely believed that providing a woman with an education and allowing her to read novels could cause insanity. And given the state of mental health care at the time, I think I'd have rather pretended to be stupid and uninformed than to be permanently committed to an insane asylum. 

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review 2017-05-29 08:26
Girl In Between by Anna Daniels
Girl In Between - Francesca-Anna Daniels

Lucy is a 32-year-old woman that moved back home until she can sort herself out, she is. Lucy is in between career and relationships and having trouble committing to them. And it an enjoyable book to read

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text 2017-05-29 01:16
Fingersmith: 40%.
Fingersmith - Juanita McMahon,Sarah Waters

Wow. Just, wow. I knew there was a twist coming. I expected it. I anticipated it. I had about 3 theories about it. And it still took me completely by surprise. Take a bow, Ms. Waters, that was amazing. Now I can't wait to gobble up the rest of this book. 

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review 2017-05-26 11:29
The Road to Jonestown ★★★★★
The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - Jeff Guinn

This was a thorough examination of the evolution of The Peoples Temple from its socialist ideals and Christian roots to a cult willing and able to commit the 1978 atrocity of mass suicide and murder of over 900 men, women, and children. It examines as much as can be known of Jim Jones, the Temple’s founder and ultimately deranged leader. It provides a study of several members, both survivors and deceased. From this, the author lays bare the mechanism by which a group of committed idealists and vulnerable believers can be led down the path to deranged behavior, enthusiastically participating in atrocities committed upon themselves and others, giving up all control to a single man in spite of clear evidence that he is a charlatan.

 

Guinn does this with remarkably little judgement. He provides facts and observations and conclusions, from a variety of points of view, and pays the reader the compliment of allowing them to judge or not. As a result, the story can be a little dry at times, but in this case I much prefer that to a sensationalized faction.

 

I was surprised by two things. One: The similarity between the techniques used by Jones and Temple leaders to subjugate their followers and those common in domestic violence situations, where outsiders say, “I don’t understand why anyone would put up with that, why didn’t they leave?”

 

The other: The Peoples Temple, at least in the beginning, performed great good. They turned lives around, provided a haven for the disenfranchised, and made material inroads in systemic societal racism. But because the Temple idealists who were committed to these goals were willing to overlook the warning signs of Jones’ unethical and immoral behaviors, feeling that the ends justified the means, they were really as much to blame for that final massacre as Jones himself. They were willing to make excuses for him, to enable him, in order to use him and his power to achieve their own ends. First small violations of ethics, then another, then another, then another, until any means necessary seemed natural and acceptable. Let that be a lesson to us all.

 

Audiobook, purchased via Audible. Competently read by Jeff Newbern.

 

Previous Updates:

5/20/17 http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1564040/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-6

5/20/17 http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1564153/the-road-to-jonestown-16

5/21/17 http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1564258/the-road-to-jonestown-20

5/21/17 http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1564338/the-road-to-jonestown-21

5/22/17 http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1564529/the-road-to-jonestown-34

5/25/17 http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1565457/the-road-to-jonestown-59

5/25/17 http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1565592/the-road-to-jonestown-70

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text 2017-05-26 03:24
The Road to Jonestown 70%
The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - Jeff Guinn

 

Temple bookkeeper Terri Buford estimated that the Temple's foreign accounts totaled about $8 million, but in fact, the total was around $30 million. Yet, in several San Francisco services, Jones asked that everyone donate their wristwatches to The Cause. These were in high demand for resale in Guyana, where, if an immediate amount of additional money wasn't received, the Jonestown project might very well fail. Every cent counts, Jones thundered at his followers, upbraiding them and sending collection plates around for an extra turn or two if the half-dozen offerings regularly taken at each Temple meeting failed to produce satisfactory sums. They had no idea of the vast fortune their church had already amassed, or why, no matter how much they gave at Temple services, it was never enough to please their pastor. 

 

And that's on top of the church's required tithing of 25% of each member's weekly paycheck.  

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