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Two Stories: "The Son" by Philip Meyer and "My Promised Land" by Ari Shavit

  • Broadcast in Psychology
Stories We Live By

Stories We Live By


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Meyer's historical novel details the settling of Texas while Shavit's essay describes the Zionist settling of Israel. Both books are clear eyed attempts at exploring two important historical events free of the idealizations and myths which so often frame similar discussions. I will frame my telling of these stories with a discussion of how self and group idealization, dehumanization and demonization of others with whom conflicts exist, and the wearing of the mantle of victimization to achieve moral superiority and justification of political action lead to intractable conflict, human atrocities and other serious unintended consequences. Finally, I will try to create a framework based on psycho"therapy" that lead to positive resolutions of future similar stories.