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The Bridge

Clarion Review (3 Stars)

The first decade of the twenty-first century has been fraught with religious conflict, acts of war, political injustice, and terrorist activity. Few agree on how to solve these far-reaching universal problems. As leaders throughout the world attempt to work together, the profound differences among cultures and nations assert themselves daily. Pessimists fear that peace is impossible, while optimists believe that words of diplomacy will heal ongoing rifts between countries.

The Bridge is a collection of profound, well-researched essays that warns open-minded readers of the desultory impact of relying on dated myth, fable, and religion rather than exercising our ability to reason. Too often people reject the right to think logically, and instead choose to grasp comforting, repetitive legends from past centuries without considering why they are doing so. Aside from being taught that having faith in archaic literature and religious ritual is an appropriate course of action, most do not comprehend why they make this irrational decision; they simply do what they are programmed to do.

David Hillstrom gets to the hard-hitting point in this two-part compilation of nine essays, without hesitating to offend anyone who does not agree with his straightforward, yet complex ideas on how to benefit humanity. His approach is educated and professional, but the book remains somewhat unfocused, with a bibliography that veers into too many areas. Physical, biological, and brain science titles mix with texts on philosophy, linguistics, history, politics, and economics, as well as myth and religion. Hillstrom flaunts his knowledge on countless subjects and tenuously connects the dots, even where others may have difficulty seeing them without looking through the author’s special lens.

Yet the basis of his presentation is clear. Hillstrom proposes that secular and temporal religion is a misguided manifestation that thwarts world peace, human instinct, and human endeavor. In the first section of his book he examines myth, and in the second he discusses how myth affects political structures. His goal is to make readers think, not just base their beliefs on flimsy concepts. In this undertaking, he succeeds.

After a successful career in international banking, David Hillstrom turned to writing. He is the author of The Story of Our People, a poetic drama, available through CreateSpace. The Bridge will appeal to intellectuals and scholars who wish to delve into a deeper exploration of the mind and how our self-coddling, archetypal notions impact society on a comprehensive scale.

Julia Ann Charpentier