Dole briefly sketches the history of life, and shows how it has a definite direction - toward the survival of the kind and gentle people. It's a challenging, and quite persuasive argument, and also a much needed one in light of the dog-eat-dog theories out there. Dole shows that in our evolving society, our traditional understanding of "survival of the fittest" needs to be updated. A book that was way ahead of its time, yet so suited to it. Some may argue that - since he was writing The Coming People before the first two world wars - that he was obviously wrong. However, his argument remains valid given current scientific evidence cited in such books as "Evolution and Empathy", and "The Age of Empathy", and it's noteworthy that he wrote another book after World War I (see, A Religion for the New Day, 1920, where he states that while society is still quite barbaric, he retains his powerful conviction that it "is improving and improvable". ). Also, Dole points to the many flaws of his time (and ours too), and stresses the need to fix them in a peaceful, intelligent manner. Many of the issues he grappled with remain just as strong today, and he stated that it might be such. "The Coming People" is a universal, important message, and will continue to find home in the hearts of agnostics, believers, and atheists (at least for its strong social argument). (Introduction by Max Cusimano)
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