Since a lot of people are talking about Dr Peterson these days, my review of his book may be on interest to some..
The full review is here.


.. His writing style is conversational, and he tends to ramble, which means a reader like me can skip over a lot of it. His advice is practical, sometimes humorous, frequently blunt and occasionally hyperbolic and as you may expect, these features provide another opening for anyone looking for quotes or phrases to attack and make fun of (for example, a subheading in one chapter says “compassion is a vice”; the discussion that follows is not in fact some sort of Nazi ode to hardness and cruelty, but if you are looking to attack the professor, this is an easy shot). If I were to sum up his philosophy, it would be that life is a constant oscillation between chaos and order, that “suffering is built into the structure of being” and that everyone has some darkness within them, and all this is not static but is a constantly moving target. It is important to have a common framework (what he has called “a low resolution common narrative”) that orders the life of a community and protects against chaos. It is also important to embrace chaos itself, since it is the source of all creativity and change. Everyone must develop the inner strengths that help him or her stay upright in the face of the hardships and chaos that are an inevitable part of life. The 12 rules are ways to improve one’s ability to navigate this treacherous maze. And shared myths and stories are what provides us with an understanding of this essential chaos as well as of the need for order.

..Still, the full court press that has been unleashed against the book and this author by the postmodern Left (I use the term loosely) seems insanely out of proportion to anything said in the book; as far as the book conveys his philosophy and teachings, they are not some sort of Nazi plot against progress and humanity. He is not his own best friend in this matter though, and he can be short tempered and say things on Twitter (and in interviews) that are a bit too much and are easy meat for critics. For example, I can understand that he had an urge to slap the British-Indian propagandist and virtue-signaler par excellence, Pankaj Mishra (wouldn’t you?), but a person in his position should have known not to say it out loud.

..In summary, if you are not in the market for a self-help book in which the self-help advice is generally sensible, sometimes obvious and massively padded with a mix of Jungian archetypes, Biblical exegesis, social commentary and classical liberalism, then you need not bother with this book. On the other hand, if you need some good advice and don’t mind Jung, the Bible or some bashing of the postmodern Left, then this may just be the book for you. Either way, “don’t believe the hype”..