History 297 Blog

I couldn’t find what I was supposed to write this blog about, so instead I will write about how much I dislike Cohen as an author. The biggest problem lies in the fact that it is blatantly obvious he was getting paid by page count. Chapter two is roughly thirty pages long, and it only needs to be a maximum of five pages… maybe. The second half of page ninety four and the entirety of page ninety five say in one and a half pages what he previously took almost thirty pages to lay out. Cohen deserves credit for his ability to write a conclusion, but percentage wise that credit is negligible. The vast majority of the time, Cohen’s inability to simply state a fact and move on worsens the clarity of his writing. Much of the unnecessary rambling comes in the form of examples, and sure, those are helpful sometimes; however, examples are only necessary for concepts that are difficult to grasp, and few of Cohen’s concepts are difficult to grasp. For the most part, Cohen proposes a basic idea then gives three or four unrelated examples, and maybe one that applies to the subject at hand. Cohen writes like he is explaining astrophysics when he usually just stating common sense. Do people tend to think of deities as those behind droughts and floods? Of course they do, that goes back to the ancient Sumerians (Not mentioned in Cohen’s writings). It’s basic human thought. If people think God influences football games, of course they attribute natural disasters to him. Thirty pages is not needed to state common sense, yet he drones on for those thirty pages anyway. Almost a hundred pages in and Cohen has posed about five pages of legitimate arguments. This should be an article, not a book. However, Cohen got book money. He’s got 300 page book money. There is no doubt that Cohen’s writing would have been much more brief had the incentive of money per page not been offered. Cohen just isn’t an efficient writer, and unfortunately, he profited on his lack of effectiveness.

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