Synopses & Reviews
A book that vigorously defends heroin users and sex workers? In You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos Robert Arthur does that and more to demonstrate that taboos are not relics of primitive societies. America has its own ridiculous phobias and beliefs that cause tedium, suffering, and death. The government and the media use these taboos to lie and mislead. It is not a conspiracy, but by pushing panic for votes and viewers they thwart our pursuit of happiness.
You Will Die exposes the fallacies and the history behind our taboos on excrement, sex, drugs, and death. Arthur uses racy readability and rigorous documentation to raze sacred shrines of political correctness on the left and of conventional wisdom on the right. From the proper way to defecate to how to reach nirvana, anticipate the unexpected. It is not simply a novel exploration of sex and drugs, but also of individuality, liberty, and the meaning of life. You Will Die gives readers a new way of seeing their world and allows them to make a more informed choice about living an authentic life.
Winner of the 2008 Montaigne Medal awarded for most thought-provoking independent book.
and#147;and#133; ya gotta fight back against the Sarah Palin and#145;idiot herdand#8217; with something.and#8221;
Wayne Coyne, Lead Singer, The Flaming Lips
and#147;and#133; one of my favorite books and#133;and#8221;
Mark Frauenfelder, Editor, Boing Boing
and#147;This book is a MUST READ! I loved it.and#8221;
Dr. Mark Benn, Psychologist, Colorado State University
"Directly inspired by Peter McWilliams terrific volume, Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do his 1996 examination of hypocrisy and the erosion of personal liberties Arthur offers a similarly-themed mash-up, commencing with less politically incendiary material (he begins with boogers) and over the course of the book working his way up to social mores and the drug war. That rather immature approach doesn't inspire much confidence at the outset, but as Arthur gains momentum, readers will find themselves increasingly engrossed. He unspools threads on centuries of papal sex scandals, rampant misinformation regarding the addictiveness of drugs, and consequences of sexual ignorance, identifying the common themes behind moral crusaders while outing famously pious philanderers like Henry Ford. Wild and inflammatory accusations abound, but Arthur backs up his observations, claims, and analyses with fistfuls of footnotes. Points such as the fact that most prostitutes are not drug addicts and that many actually enjoy their work, or the argument that the reason illegal drugs are so deadly is because they're illegal, won't sit well with those firmly entrenched in their beliefs, but Arthur's richly researched and readable treatise will give those open to other positions plenty to think about in this heavily annotated volume. (Jan)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Taboos are a burden on society. By protecting irrational views they hinder progress towards greater happiness.
"A highly entertaining look at social lies and phobias, and the way the worst sort of laws are created and empowered. Unusual and fascinating."—Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing
Taboos, by definition, are off-limit topics.
As a book that covers nasal mucus, excrement, sex, and drugs, You Will Die is inherently sensational, and author Robert Arthur takes advantage of that by packing its many fascinating pages with provocative information and illustrations, but You Will Die, beyond the surface, is an extraordinarily serious book.