Why Is ERI Doing Book Reviews?

Review typed on a piece of paper in a typewriter for book reviews

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

As part of our mission to equip pro-life people, we’ve decided to start doing book reviews. This is something we’ve been thinking about behind the scenes for a little bit, but we’ve come to a point now where we’re reading and rereading several pro-life books, so it seemed like a good time to start. While the reviews will be published on the blog like normal articles, the format is different enough from our usual content to warrant a small introduction.

There are a lot of books about the abortion debate. A lot. Some of them are good, many of them are…not so good. It takes an investment of time and money (or a library card, if you’re lucky enough to have a well-stocked local library) to read a book about abortion. Reading through even a fraction of the available literature would be the equivalent of a part-time job. And that’s without touching on articles, like Thomson’s “In Defense of Abortion,” which sometimes matter more than the books (and which are often hidden behind a more expensive paywall).

We think you should read books and articles by both pro-life and pro-choice authors in order to become more educated about abortion. Because we think you should engage in that kind of reading, which requires an investment by you, we want you to know the highlights of the published literature, which books to read, and which books you can safely give a pass. In this way, we hope to maximize the returns on your reading time and book budget.

Especially as we begin, we will focus on pro-life books. This isn’t because you should avoid reading pro-choice books (you shouldn’t), but because there’s more benefit to sifting through and recommending pro-life books to our predominantly pro-life readership. There are pro-life books which will help them become better pro-life advocates, and there are books which would actually serve to make them worse. We’d like to help our readers select the former and avoid the latter.

We’re not saying to only read books to which we give a positive review. That said, if you’re going to read a book that we believe has issues, we want you to be aware of them going into your reading. Similarly, we’d like you to know the high points to look for as you read a book we think will be helpful to you, which will hopefully promote comprehension and retention of the material (especially in the case of a more academic book).

Our goal is to help you select high-quality books from both sides of the abortion debate which advance the discussion and will help you improve your understanding of the issue. The reviews won’t be a substitute for actually reading the books; think more appetizer, less CliffsNotes. Also, while it will be clear from the text of the review how we feel about a book, we won’t implement a rating system or quantify some kind of ratings (except maintaining a list of recommended books). We think it’s more helpful to engage with the text, both of the book and of our review, rather than an arbitrary number.

The post Why is ERI Doing Book Reviews? originally appeared at the Equal Rights Institute blog. Subscribe to our email list with the form below and get a FREE gift. Click here to learn more about our pro-life apologetics course, “Equipped for Life: A Fresh Approach to Conversations About Abortion.”

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Writer / Researcher

Andrew Kaake (pronounced like “cake”) is the Lead Editor at Equal Rights Institute. He holds a bachelor’s degree in classics and political science, cum laude, from Amherst College, where he wrote a thesis on the topic of C.S. Lewis and natural law philosophy. He completed his master’s degree in bioethics at Trinity International University, studying the philosophical underpinnings of controversies about life, death, and technology and trying to create ways to communicate that information to others. During his studies at Trinity, he worked as a research assistant for The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity.

Andrew wants the pro-life movement to help foster a culture that seeks truth and embraces logical consistency. “What I believe about humanity and personhood clearly impacts what I think about abortion, but it also holds implications for how I should (and, more importantly, shouldn’t) dialogue with other people who disagree with me.”

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