In Anticipation of Sam Harris’s Newest Book


Sam Harris has already written these five books, all of which I have read. I wasn’t crazy about the first one, but thoroughly enjoyed all the others. They are presented here, in order, by publication-date.

  1. The End of Faith (2004)
  2. Letter to a Christian Nation (2006)
  3. The Moral Landscape:  How Science Can Determine Human Values (2010)
  4. Lying (2011)
  5. Free Will (2012)

This month, he has a new book coming out. It’s called Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. I have already pre-ordered it on Amazon, and am looking forward to its arrival. 

Here is a link to a book review of Waking Up which was published in The New York Times, yesterday:

This link is to the page on Amazon where you can order Waking Up:

4 thoughts on “In Anticipation of Sam Harris’s Newest Book

  1. What was it about his first book you didn’t care for? Since the second seems to have been a re-hash of the first, I’m curious to know why you liked one but not the other. A week ago, I was dimly aware of who Sam Harris was, but subsequent to reading this I have now read four of his books and am starting on the new one. So thanks for making this post!

    Of the four I’ve completed, “Free Will” has been the toughest for me to digest, but I find it hard to assail his logic. The evidence is what it is. I have always had trouble warming up to Dawkins, partially because of his proclivity to insult rather than inform, which pops up more often than I’d like, but mainly because he doesn’t seem to address the spiritual experience sans religious tradition, and Harris seems to have no trouble covering that territory with an open mind to phenomena for which there is evidence (rather than just faith).


  2. Sorry, I see that you answered my question about his first two books at length in a prior post. I agree it seemed like he spent more time on Islam in the first book as well, but I think he explained and justified that focus as being due to its comparative lack of reform compared to Christianity and Judaism – e.g. honor killings, targeting of non-combatants, etc. still being unfortunately common in the Islamic world whereas while Christians and Jews might still want to display the ten commandments outside of a courthouse, virtually none of them campaign to have people put to death for dishonoring ones parents or petty theft.


    • My personal experience with Muslims — and I know many — doesn’t match the media stereotype at all. On the other hand, I’ve suffered personally, and severely, at the hands of certain individual, extremist, non-Christlike “Christians.” This is why I don’t react well when Islam is criticized more harshly than Christianity. I will concede one thing, however (and I just thought of this): if I had been raised in a Muslim country, it is entirely possible that my personal situation re: these two religions would be reversed.


      • Personal experience is a powerful filter. I work in the technology industry and noted some years ago that many if not most of the Indian people I know come from fairly wealthy families. Which, when I thought about it for a minute made sense since I met all of them here in the United States. So the sample I’ve personally encountered was pre-filtered.

        Personally, I’ve never had a cross word with a Muslim either (and have had my share of disagreements with conservative Christians), but I also can’t disagree with Harris’s focus given his examples. Fundamentalist Christians, globally, seem to cause more harm via bad public policy, repressive laws, etc. whereas fundamentalist Islamists do all of that plus using children as shields, treating women as property, etc.


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