Thursday, December 13, 2012

Amos Oz: How to Cure a Fanatic



This month we are reading Scenes from Village Life by Israeli writer and peace activist Amos Oz. To jump start our discussion of the author I suggest beginning with this speech-- How to Cure a Fanatic. (You can search iTunes for audio podcast versions if you prefer).

With a good deal of humor, Oz examines the worldwide plague of fanaticism from Bin Laden to Anders Breivik and the psychology that underpins it. Fanatics lack imagination, he says. The inability to empathize, to put oneself  in another's shoes is at the root of the problem. His stories certainly reverse that equation.

Tell me if you found yourself thinking more about the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the negotiations over the 'fiscal cliff' when he waxes eloquent on the subject of enemies learning to compromise!
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