Ethical Culture Review of Books


Welcome to the Ethical Culture Review of Books, reviews written by members and friends of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County and, we hope soon, by members and friends of Ethical Culture societies nationwide. We invite  your comments on any review.

We also invite original reviews, not yet published, of current books for consideration. For details and a copy of the author guidelines, please send an email to

Editorial Board: Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County members Marc Bernstein, who is also former archivist for the American Ethical Union; Joseph Chuman, leader of the Society, and Theresa Forsman.


Continuing the Conversation on White Privilege, Part Two

Click here to read Part One A veteran activist, wizened and white, recently gave me this advice: I used to think I needed to understand how black

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The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet

By Lawrence J. Friedman (Columbia University Press, 2013)   Reviewed by Joseph Chuman   Erich Fromm changed my life–in very big ways.

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Speaking of Ethics: Living a Humanist Life

Author: Joseph Chuman  (CreateSpace, North Charleston, S.C., 2014)   Reviewed by Doris Friedensohn On the cover of Joseph Chuman’s Speaking

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Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools

Author: Diane Ravitch (Alfred Knopf, 2013)  Reviewed by Doris Friedensohn Prepare to be upset. Prepare to be challenged. Diane Ravitch’s

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The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

  Author: George Packer (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2013) Reviewed by Theresa Forsman           In the prologue to The Unwinding: An Inner

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My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

Author: Ari Shavit (Spiegel and Grau/Random House, New York, 2013) Reviewed by Doris Friedensohn         Ari Shavit, the left-wing Israeli

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The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life

Author: Rod Dreher (Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group, 2013) Reviewed by Theresa Forsman         The author, Rod Dreher, and his

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Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity

Author: Andrew Solomon (Scribner’s, New York, 2012) Reviewed by Doris Friedensohn Andrew Solomon is an exponent of “revolutionary love against

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Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry

  Author: Helaine Olen (Portfolio/Penguin Group, 2012) Reviewed by Theresa Forsman In the late 1940s, the first years of the Baby Boom, the number

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Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti

Author: Amy Wilentz (Simon & Schuster, 2013) Reviewed by Doris Friedensohn            How do we view people in conditions of abject

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  Author: Christopher Hitchens (2012, Twelve, Hachette Book Group) Reviewed by Theresa Forsman             Christopher Hitchens took on

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The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society

Authors: Judith K. Brodsky and Ferris Olin (2012, Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art) Reviewed by Doris Friedensohn        

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Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier

  Author: Robert Emmons (2007, Houghton Mifflin) Reviewed by Marc Bernstein             I discovered Robert Emmons’ book, Thanks!

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In This Timeless Time

  Authors: Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian (2012, University of North Carolina Press) Reviewed by Theresa Forsman                

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True Wealth

Author: Juliet Schor (2011, Penguin Group; titled Plenitude in hardcover, which was published by the Center for a New American Dream in 2010)

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Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas, and the Weather of the Future

  Author: Climate Central (2012, Pantheon Books, a division of Random House)   Reviewed by Theresa Forsman         Ideally, science and

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Not Working: The Stories Behind the Unemployment Statistics

  Author D.W. Gibson (2012, Penguin Books) Reviewed by Theresa Forsman          More than 12 million Americans are unemployed today.

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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

   Author: Isabel Wilkerson (2010, Random House) Reviewed by Marc Bernstein        The American civil-rights movement has never wanted for

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