Reviews of The Lucifer Principle
A Scientific Expedition Into The Forces of History
“addresses a topic that more timid and conventional sources are not inclined to confront: the nature and causes of human evil. …vigorous…fervent…a freshly viable theory of human social evolution.”
The Washington Times
“Draws heavily on biological and anthropological evidence to show that human beings are not by nature isolated, self-interested individuals…powerful.”
Francis Fukuyama, Foreign Affairs
“Bloom’s work marshals a quantity of evidence reminiscent of Darwin’s 1859 Origin of Species.”
Dorion Sagan, Wired
“an ambitious,…provocative study.”
“arresting…deft…graceful…Howard Bloom is something we do not much encounter anymore:…a polymath. The Lucifer Principle is a corking good read, the sort of book that fills the reader with a desire to grab the phone and pick a fight with the author roughly every three pages, just to see what will happen. …heretical…infuriating…entertaining and challenging.”
L.J. Davis, author of The Billionaire Shell Game
“The Lucifer Principle has become an underground sensation in the scientific and literary communities….”
The Independent Scholar
“A revolutionary vision of the relationship between psychology and history. The Lucifer Principle will have a profound impact on our concepts of human nature. It is astonishing that a book of this importance could be such a pleasure to read.”
Elizabeth Loftus, past president, American Psychological Society, author, Witness for the Defense, The Myth of Repressed Memory, and Eyewitness Testimony
“Great fun to read, and crammed with fantastic information.”
Martin Gardner, creator and author of The Scientific American’s “Mathematical Games” section 1956-1986, author of over 100 books, including: Hexaflexagons and Other Mathematical Diversions: The First Scientific American Book of Puzzles and Games; Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science; and The Second Scientific American Book of Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions
“Howard Bloom has written a ‘World History’ from a new and different viewpoint based upon the psychological structure and natural predispositions of the human mind. His story…is a challenging and welcome alternative to those based on theistic or political assumptions.
Horace Barlow, Royal Society Research professor of Physiology, Cambridge University, co-editor Images and Understanding: Thoughts About Images: Ideas About Understanding
“The Lucifer Principle is a tour de force, a brilliant and seminal work.”
Sol Gordon, PhD, founder, The Institute for Family Research and Education, , author of When Living Hurts and Why Loving Is Not Enough
“A trenchant examination of ‘big ideas.’ Howard Bloom turns many of our preconceptions upside down, and in the process shakes our thinking loose so we can see the world differently.”
Mike Sigman, CEO, LA Weekly
“Howard Bloom’s book is powerful, provocative, a pleasure to read and I hope partially wrong. We agree that mindfulness could be the key to the future but I hope in the final analysis The Lucifer Principle is dead wrong about our past.”
Ellen Langer, PhD, Prof. Psychology, Harvard University, author Mindfulness
“I’m in full agreement with ‘The Lucifer Principle.’ It is fascinating, erudite, enjoyable, stimulating and lively.”
Jerome D. Frank, MD, PhD, author of Psychotherapy and the Human Predicament, Persuasion and Healing, and Sanity And Survival: Psychological Aspects Of War And Peace
“fascinating vignettes give the book an intense vitality…highly recommended…on the basis of its lucid, interesting writing and Bloom’s important view of human nature.”
J.H. Riker, Choice
“Controversial yet compelling,”
Howard Gardner, Harvard University, author of Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century
“a powerful thinking tool, complex and ambitious, bold, with an exceptional ability to integrate across an astonishing range of scientific information. I found myself alternating between ‘Wow!’ and ‘Aha!’ experiences.
– Allen Johnson, past chairman, anthropology department, UCLA, co-author of The Evolution of Human Societies
“The Lucifer Principle is written with energy and a flair for jarring contrasts. It documents example after example that scratches the reader’s itches, then without warning draws blood as it punctures the hypocritical camouflage of our cherished self-delusions.”
David L. Hull, author of Science As A Process and Science and Selection
“Fascinating. The details –historical and scientific –constitute an education in themselves. But they are all directed to a central idea that is totally on target, and flicks a gauntlet across the face of fashionable intellectual dogmatists and professional utopians.”
Robin Fox, founder of the Anthropology Department at Rutgers University, editor, Biosocial Anthropology; author of Encounter with Anthropology; The Red Lamp of Incest: An Enquiry into the Origins of Mind and Society; The Violent Imagination; The Search For Society; and co-author of The Imperial Animal and of Kinship and Marriage
“Copernicus declared that the earth revolved around the sun. Darwin shredded the Bible. Freud revealed that sexuality is everywhere. …Bloom has said that violence is ‘a tool that Nature uses to create.’ …Bloom is the anti-Rousseau, an author who, thanks to the scientific findings of recent years, has decided not to cheat us by offering a pre-deformed mirror that shows us only our ideal selves. His book is fascinating because we have all felt or seen the forces Bloom exposes to us, but never before have we had the keys to understand them.” Pierre Jovanovic, author of Inquiry into the Existence of Guardian Angels
“…on group selection, you should consult Wilson and Sober’s article in a recent issue on Behavioural and Brain Sciences together with various rebuttals in the same issue. Also, Howard Bloom’s new book The Lucifer Principle.”
Matt Ridley, author, Genome
“In Howard Bloom’s book The Lucifer Principle, he describes human social groups as superorganisms, whose members merge their minds into a single mass-learning machine. This is clearly a radical proposal that differs from the current view of human evolutionary psychology. If you look for it in the pages of The Adapted Mind, you will not find it. The idea tends to appear heretical. But the idea of group-level cognition is new and may be highly relevant to human evolutionary psychology.”
David Sloan Wilson, Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York, Binghamton, co-author with Eliot Sober of Unto Others: the evolution of altruism and author of Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society
“Bloom…has such a sure grasp of his subject and such an engaging keenness to communicate, the book is almost exhilarating. …History in Bloom’s hands is so exciting one begins to get skeptical. But every hair-raising example, such as the fact that 30,000 Japanese jumped to their deaths over a cliff at Okinawa, is meticulously supported by source notes. There is also a most impressive bibliography. …Bloom is doing us a favour…his entertaining and slightly outrageous book pulsates with bizarre insights into history, sociology and anthropology.”
Graham Howland, The Courier-Mail, Perth, Australia
“A brilliant, thrilling book on the human condition, exploring the role of aggression in the daily life of the society and covering a wealth of related topics. One of the best books I’ve read in many years.”
Alexander Elder, author, Trading For A Living
“Thought provoking and engaging. I had a hard time putting it down.”
Thomas D. Seeley, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, author of Honeybee Ecology
“Instructive, provocative, entertaining reading. We need more books like this one.”
Robert B. Cialdini, the most frequently-cited living social psychologist, Regents’ Professor of Psychology, Arizona State University, author of Influence: the Science of Persuasion
“‘Le livre le plus important écrit ces 30 dernières années [the most important book written in the last 30 years].”
Pascal Jouxtel, Bureau des Contagions, Paris
“Le livre le plus important écrit depuis Darwin” (“The most important book since Darwin.”)
Le Jardin des Livres, Paris
“The Lucifer Principle is a long step forward in the human effort to understand human biology. Very clearly and cleverly it asks people to look inside themselves. Its novel assessment is brilliant; its historical facts are unassailable…outstanding.”
Richard Bergland, MD, founder of the department of neurosurgery, Sloan/Kettering, author of The Fabric of Mind
“Why am I scared? Because I am 18 years old and used to think of myself as liberal through and through. Now I can’t. I used to spit on the American flag because of political blunders, now I can’t. I used to forgive ultra-Conservatives, excuse away religious fundamentalists, cheer on pacificists. I thought I had a mind! I thought I had free will! I thought I had goals and dreams and wonders and I thought I was ALIVE!”
“Now nothing matters. Nothing. I am a hairy lad, and I have read more books on more subjects on more opinions than I have hairs. And none have sent me into the crazed spiral of self-doubt and worry that this book has. I am nothing now. Nothing.
“Everything is useless. Everything is pointless. But now I have eyes. Bloom fears Islam. Bloom also fears America. But Bloom does not forgive the fact that given America over Islam, he would take the former any time. Bloom is not scared about Judaism. Judaism doesn’t want us all dead. Is this a narrow view? Probably. Bloom even ADMITS this. But the way he puts it… you will fear Islam. Not enough to hate Islam – Bloom rants endlessly about moral imperatives and the like – but fear Islam because it can and WILL bring America to its knees if we are not careful.
“This book will have you thinking that Equatorial Guinea could bring us to our knees. It is racist in the same way ‘The Bell Curve’ is racist. In a way that points out what we refuse to see and sorrowfully shakes its head as it is forced to admit that this is the truth. It is paranoid in the same way ‘1984’ is paranoid. Watch out, or you’ll end up like this.
“And it proves it. My lord, it proves it.
“This is a book about social psychology. It is also a book about politics. It is also about history. The back of the book reads ‘Science’ and not one of these other topics. This book defies genres. It is a desperate cry for movement and action and awareness that transcends barriers.
“Bloom wants humankind to rise above itself. But to begin, we must know what humankind is.
“People! The time has come! This book will fall through history as a turning point – the book that brought ALL fields together and found something frightening. Is Bloom wrong sometimes? Yes. Yes yes and double yes. There are basic historical errors here. Blind shots in the dark. But is Bloom a stinking genius intent on shocking us out of our minds? Yes!
“Run away if you wish to forever remain blind. You only thought you knew what you were until you read this book. I want to burn it. I wish I had never read it. I wish Howard Bloom had never been born. And it is now my Bible. It is undeniable. It is a force unto itself.
“Everything you believed before, it will rip from you. It will leave you a boneless jelly of confusion. It will be the voice of a new philosophical generation. Will ‘Bloomian’ be risen to the level of ‘Machiavellian’, ‘Marxist’, ‘Platonic’, ‘Darwinian’, ‘Sadism’, ‘Boycott’? I fear it will be so! I hope it will be so! I want to weep and grind my teeth. I am angered. I am humbled. I am overwhelmed, tied, beaten. I want to tear my soul from my body and deny I am human. And I know I am.
“More than ever. I am human. So are you. You thought we had problems before? You had no idea whatsoever. Live with it. There is NOTHING ELSE YOU CAN DO. END”
Nassir Isaf, a reader from Bainbridge Island, WA, reviewing The Lucifer Principle on Amazon.com