Review: Deep Thinking the Human Condition

deep-thinkingTitle:  Deep Thinking the Human Condition Vol. 1, Chapters 1-4:  New Ideas We Can’t Do Without

Author:  S.A. Odunsi

Published:  2008

# of Pages:  220

ISBN:  978-0615221731

Deep Thinking the Human Condition is the first four chapters of what will eventually be a series of books by S.A. Odunsi.  This first volume is Odunsi’s analysis of persistent underdevelopment in the third world, mainly focusing on why so many countries continue to be unable to lift themselves out of poverty, despite their own, and the Western world’s, best efforts.  Odunsi argues that the problem of persistent underdevelopment hasn’t been fully explored, and the solutions that have been uncovered in the past have never been sufficient enough to fully understand and solve the crisis.  Odunsi’s assertion is that it is up to Western Social Science academia to develop solutions to the issues in the third world, and thus far the solutions they have come up with have been superficial and inadequate.  Even further, the fact that we in the North and West have allowed persistent underdevelopment to continue so long is actually the fault of Social Science academia, because they have the ability to shape how we think about and deal with this kind of poverty, and basically they have allowed us to accept it without looking for real solutions.  In this volume, Odunsi goes into a bit about how this has happened, including what is and isn’t important to learn from higher education, as well as what role politics plays into all of this.  It is made clear that there will be more detail and solutions in following volumes.

This is an incredibly difficult book for me to review, which is why I’m abstaining from giving a rating just this once.  It is definitely an academic book – not meant for pleasure reading.  The points that Odunsi makes are valid, I think, and the ideas presented here definitely gave me plenty of food for thought.  I’m still not sure, though, what I think of the general ideas, whether I agree or disagree with the concepts presented in the book.  I think that I would need to read the entire series to be able to analyze the ideas completely.  I feel right now like I don’t have a complete enough picture of what Odunsi is trying to get accross.  Unfortunately, I don’t feel all that interested in reading the rest of the series… at least not for my enjoyment.  The book was just very dense for what I typically read in my spare time, and I don’t know that I would enjoy reading more books similar in depth right now.  Depending on what the rest of the series brings, the book has a lot of promise for being included in college curricula, absolutely.  It would make a great addition to a class about world poverty or other social issues.  But for pleasure, non-school related reading?  I just think it was a little much for me, and I have a feeling others might agree.

I found Deep Thinking the Human Condition (volume 1) to be an interesting book with a great concept and thought-provoking conclusions that would be a nice contribution or accompaniment to a college sociology or anthropology class.  It wasn’t one of my favorites, but Odunsi does have a worthwhile contribution to make in regards to the issue of underdevelopment in the third world, and the book is something that should be read by anyone interested in that field of study.

Hey guys, I have a review copy I would love to pass on to someone else.  It’s called Jane of Chelsea, it’s a fantasy for ages 9-12.  Amazon info can be found here.

Let me know who wants it, if there’s more than one person I’ll pick someone randomly tomorrow (Wednesday) so that I can get the book out on Thursday.

Review policy

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I broadcast my review policy to authors and publishers who are interested in sending me books.  I have played around with a few different ways of having a review policy posted on the blog, but most recently I was inspired by Natasha and Trish, who both have very detailed information on their sites about their own review policies.

So… I tweaked mine.  A lot.  Check it out.  I think it’s very thorough, and that is what matters most to me.  I don’t want there to be any confusion about what I do and do not do in regards to reviewing, and I certainly don’t want any hurt feelings.  What do you think?