Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review 3: Michael Sandel’s “Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do?”

About the author:

Michael Sandel is a professor of Philosophy in Harvard University and is one of the well-known political philosophers of our time. He follows the theory of communitarianism and is recognized for his critique of John Rawl’s A Theory of Justice.

One of his most acclaimed works, however, is his focus on practical morality and politics. By discussing sensitive subjects, he was able to bring forth the idea that morality is real – even in politics.


Many believe that morality in politics is dead – or perhaps it never even existed. The question of being moral in the realm of politics just seems hard to imagine nor achieve. As it was mentioned in Machiavelli’s The Prince, a leader should be able to make the best decisions, which are not necessarily moral, for himself and his people. But, Michael Sandel urges his readers to rethink the reality of the concept of morality in politics in his book “Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do?” In his book, he explores the meaning of justice and discussed controversies that have never really been talked about as often in the political realm. Such topics include same-sex marriages, abortion, physician-assisted suicides, and other controversial issues.

Michael Sandel’s book has been praised by many readers as it has served as an eye-opening discussion of subject matters that we do not usually freely talk about in the realm of politics. Furthermore, Sandel was able to discuss practical morality in terms that beginners in the area can easily absorb and understand. In fact, the book is referred to by many as one of the best books written on practical morality. It may not look as astonishing nor satisfying for elite moral philosophers, but it definitely reached the ordinary people, which is important when writing about such a subject.

“Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do?” is indeed one of the books that students and professionals alike should take into consideration in their study of politics. It teaches a very important lesson on the reality of moral principles in a time dominated by a kind of thinking wherein moral statements are rendered meaningless and where moral behaviors are considered irrational.


Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Book Review 2: Michael Curtis’ “The Great Political Theories Vol. 1 and 2”

Michael Curtis is a distinguished Political Science professor in Rutgers University. He also taught in various well-known institutions such as Yale and Cornell University. So far, he has written fifteen books on political philosophies and theories, comparative politics, and others concerning affairs in the Middle East. Among his most celebrated works are his two volumes on The Great Political Theories that is now being used by many students as reference in their study of Political Science.


The political realm is a very interesting area to study. However, being a beginner to the science of politics can get a bit frustrating as one tries to understand its twists and turns. There are several theories and philosophies that have already intertwined with each other, which make it hard to truly grasp and fully understand everything all at once. One theory always leads to or contrasts another.

But, that does not mean that studying politics should necessarily be difficult. As the old saying goes, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” And, in the study of political science, there is definitely a way to get through it without too much headache.

What better way to familiarize oneself to politics is through studying its beginnings and its evolution? The Great Political Theories covers just that as it brings its readers through the history of politics, how it evolved, and its attempt to go with the needs of the time. The two volumes spans through how the Greeks understood politics, to Thomas Hobbes, to Immanuel Kant, to Karl Marx, and to other more modern political theorists.

The best thing about the two volumes is that both are written in a manner that the reader seems to be reading a story. It does not feel uninteresting nor dragging as one is taken through time where political philosophies were born. Furthermore, Michael Curtis adds bits of interesting facts about authors and their time, which makes it a rather light for readers yet still full of details.

More than the facts, what makes Michael Curtis’ The Great Political Theories a recommended book by many is that it gives its readers an idea as to how to act as a citizen and as a group. He was able to show the actions of people from the past and all the consequences; then challenges readers to further develop the theories we have now.

As one of the students who were fortunate enough to have been introduced to these two volumes in Political Science class, I can honestly say that The Great Political Theories have really helped me in my study of politics and made me appreciate it even more.

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review 1: Sanjay Gupta’s “Cheating Death”

Hi all. You’ll be happy to know that we now do a weekly book review on anything concerning social issues, politics, human rights, the news, international affairs, the media etc. We start with Sanjay’s book “Cheating Death”.

Decades ago, a comatose patient, a person who drowned, or even a patient with a deadly heart disease would have been declared dead as soon as they flat line. Doctors would not have done anything else if they seemed to have tried everything to revive these people. These are a few of the hopeless cases that even medicine cannot do anything about.

However, the question is, what if something can still be done to bring these people back to life? What if medicine can go as far as reviving someone who has been dead for hours?

Several years later, as technology advanced and more discoveries in the medical field have been made, Dr. Sanjay Gupta now reveals the science behind medical miracles that have never really been discussed. Intriguing? Perhaps this book has become one of the most talked about books of 2009 since it covers concepts that have not been completely accepted by many.

Seeing that it is argued about by a lot of readers and professionals alike, what exactly makes Cheating Death so intriguing? In the book, Dr. Sanjay Gupta basically chronicles the would-have-been fatal cases where patients survive and surprisingly able live normal lives afterward. What makes it intriguing is that the idea of reviving patients who have been declared dead even for hours can still be revived is discussed. It shows readers the human body’s extraordinary capability of survival and how far medicine can go to postpone the death of a person.

A lot of people find the book very interesting and lively. It is creatively written in a way that as if the reader is watching Discovery Health and Rescue 911 all at the same time – it is learning concepts combined with an action-filled style as real-life cases are discussed. However, this is not just the reason why people continuously talk about the book.

The idea of being able to save a person’s life who was in death’s doorstep has, indeed, fascinated and intrigued a lot of fans and critics. The concept gave hope to many readers, but also troubled others. There has been a lot of talk that Cheating Death’s concepts are misleading the readers. According to critics, the book seems to convey the idea that every deadly case can still be saved; and this belief leads people to think twice about donating organs hoping that a loved one might still be able to be revived. Also, others argue that the book is filled with medical errors. Critics point out the confusion between medical terms such as permanent vegetation, brain death, and comatose.

Despite the many clashes in opinions, it is still a personal choice whether to throw away or believe the idea of medical miracles that Dr. Sanjay Gupta wrote about in Cheating Death. There is nothing wrong about being critical, but there are indeed certain occurrences that happen yet we cannot explain – such as being revived from death. At the same time, though, there is nothing wrong with being hopeful; however, there are limitations. In the end, every one will come face to face with death and there is nothing else to be done but to let go. We are not gods, and we can only go so far in saving a person’s life.


Filed under Book Reviews, Sanjay Gupta "Cheating Death"