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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Tolerance by Hendrik Willem van Loon. Tolerance by Hendrik Willem van Loon. The history of Tolerance or the lack thereof in the history of man as described by one of the best popular historians of all time.
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Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Tolerance. Jul 23, Krishna rated it it was amazing. This is truly a remarkable book, by an author perhaps better known today in China going by the number of editions of this book available there than in the West.
It is a sweeping history of the world, told in simple language with entertaining humor and wide erudition. Unlike optimists who see the arc of history bending towar This is truly a remarkable book, by an author perhaps better known today in China going by the number of editions of this book available there than in the West.
Unlike optimists who see the arc of history bending toward justice, van Loon seems to contemplate an unchanging human nature, but with enough goodness in it that all hope is never lost. But if that sounds depressing, van Loon makes up for it with dollops of humor and an irreverent attitude, and a fearless, cheerful iconoclasm. His most trenchant criticism is reserved for organized religion, specifically Christianity since he focuses mostly on European history. He highlights episodes glossed over in traditional histories - for example, how soon after Constantine's great conversion, Christians turned on their former oppressors, the pagans with almost the same lions-in-the-circus ferocity that they had had to endure, so that within one generation there was not a single altar to the old gods in the whole empire.
Or the ruthless persecution of the Albigensians, the Socinians and other "heretics" over trivial doctrinal differences. But the Protestants who rebelled against the Catholic church were no less intolerant.
John Calvin comes in for particular criticism. Having broken with the Church over freedom of conscience, he set up in Geneva an even more regimented theocracy where he was the sole arbiter of conscience and any deviation from rigid orthodoxy could be punished with a flogging or excommunication or exile.
Or in the case of hapless Michael Servetus, burning at the stake. Calvin's example is only a reminder that much of religion is only a cover for the exercise of tyrannical power by old men. But in the second half of the book, van Loon also discusses the many scholars, thinkers and reformers who have sought to make their societies more tolerant -- including Erasmus, Rabelais, the unfortunate Giordano Bruno, Spinoza, Frederick the Great of Prussia, Voltaire.
The last-named one gets the lengthiest treatment, but van Loon tempers his admiration with the observation that much of what Voltaire did was with an eye toward publicity. Like many social reformers and thinkers before and since, Voltaire was a master of the carefully choreographed publicity event.
How the iconoclastic idealism of the French Revolution turned so quickly to intolerance also comes in for lengthy study. In the end, van Loon ends on a cautionary note, that we should not exult that out times are somehow more progressive and enlightened than those earlier eras of ignorance and superstitions.
For van Loon, the modern man in the business suit is not much different mentally or morally from the hunter-gatherer in skins. The price of liberty is constant vigilance against the opportunistic forces of intolerance.
View 1 comment. Dec 04, Cheng Liu rated it it was amazing. Can't believe it is still so relevant today. Sep 03, Ann rated it it was amazing. Fascinating book. The Chinese version I found in the library over the summer was really horrible, so I had to drop it down mid-way.
I will hopefully find a English copy and finish reading it soon. Apr 23, Xdyj rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction. A nice book on the history of intolerance in the western world, and unfortunately its theme is still relevant today. Mar 23, kostoglotov rated it really liked it. Van Loon's compassion was basically not tolerated by the world's bumps and restlessness. There are such books that everyone knows how clear the truth is when reading them, however, when they do something, they have to bite the bullet and try to tear the reality down.
Aug 12, Austin Bi rated it it was amazing. Apr 10, Brett Fernau rated it it was amazing Shelves: owned-books. A fascinating search for some tolerance somewhere in the history of civilization. Almost none is found. Very well written and easy to read. The author writes in a narrative style which makes this rather difficult subject quite comprehensible.
I borrowed this book from the library. When I finished it, by wife began reading it. She, too, finds it quite fascinating and well written. If you are confused as to why mankind can't ever seem to get along, read this book and you'll see that the problem is A fascinating search for some tolerance somewhere in the history of civilization.
If you are confused as to why mankind can't ever seem to get along, read this book and you'll see that the problem is not a new one. It still needs to be solved. Oct 08, Balaguri rated it it was amazing Recommended to Balaguri by: my father. Weizhu Qian rated it really liked it Feb 23, Chris Daeron rated it really liked it Oct 14, Ardiana Radani rated it it was amazing Jun 06, Hairuo rated it it was amazing Mar 29, Jerry rated it it was amazing Dec 31, Vera rated it really liked it Nov 23, Lisa Sheng rated it really liked it Jun 17, Shirley rated it it was amazing Feb 18, Ringer rated it it was amazing Aug 12, Tom Elliott rated it it was amazing Jan 29, Jaz rated it it was amazing Apr 15, Walter rated it really liked it Aug 17, Joel Tweeten rated it it was amazing Jun 19, Andrew Yang rated it it was amazing Sep 05, Lingyao rated it it was amazing May 21, Zhongyu rated it really liked it Jun 09, Heather rated it it was amazing Nov 05, Wherezhang rated it it was amazing Jan 01, Kei rated it it was amazing Jun 06, Hubert Heller rated it it was amazing Feb 25, Zhedong Wu rated it really liked it Oct 15, Silvia Huang rated it really liked it Feb 04, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Tolerance by Hendrik Willem Loon
This Serbian peasant he came from Uskub, the much disputed railroad junction of the late war had no use for "book- learnin'. And it was he who closed the doors of the only Egyptian temple that had continued to do business centuries after the valley of the Nile had been invaded by the monks of the new Christian faith. Ever since men could remember, the spot had been dedicated to the worship of Isis, and for some curious reason the Goddess had survived where all her African and Greek and Roman rivals had miserably perished. Until finally, in the sixth century, the island was the only spot where the old and most holy art of picture writing was still understood and where a small number of priests continued to practice a trade which had been forgotten in every other part of the land of Cheops.
Hendrik Willem van Loon
With an OverDrive account, you can save your favorite libraries for at-a-glance information about availability. Find out more about OverDrive accounts. Conflict and fusion, persecution and anti-persecution, these are long-standing complex and sensitive issues in the history of religion. In this book, van Loon examines deep-rooted causes of clashes between different religious sects and attributes all the cruelties to spiritual intolerance. Through van Loon's "tolerant" perspective, we will have a much clearer picture of the history of religion. New here? We use this information to create a better experience for all users.
Seller Rating:. Condition: Good. No Jacket. Gold title on green boards with pictorial past on. Seller Inventory More information about this seller Contact this seller 1.