1st Books Library - December 1999
ISBN: 1585003867 - Paperback
Nonfiction / Self Help

Reviewed by Nancy Mehl,
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SANITY RISING: UNECESSARY EVIL is a thought provoking book. It asks the reader to question the meaning of "evil." How is it judged, and what does it mean to each of us? Most of us believe our causes and beliefs are just - so how does one decide which actions are acceptable and which ones are not?

Author John Nienstedt makes us examine ourselves in a way that may make us uncomfortable, but can bring us to a better self-awareness about our judgments of others - and of ourselves. He also asks us to look more closely at our definition of ethics. Is fudging a little here and there acceptable, even if everyone else does it? Do we have a "herd" mentality, or are we finding our own way based on our own questions - and our own answers.

When it comes to defining "evil," many of us have found an interpretation through our religious beliefs. Even though I disagree with the idea that all evil is of our own making, I found most of Mr. Nienstadt's arguments compelling and applicable to everyone. There is no "anti-right" or "anti-left" in this book. Neither is there a spirit of "anti-religion." If anything, there is a call to come out of the herd, listen to your own calling - and learn to know yourself.

There are fascinating looks into famous figures - and the desires that drove them. A closer look at Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was compelling. Nienstedt shows the reader just why this speech was so successful - and what you can do to develop your own charisma and level of influence.

I read through this book faster than I wanted to. I will definitely go back and re-read it so that I can soak in some of the wonderful insight found within its pages.

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