Book Review: The New Holocaust



“The last time Western civilization denied millions of its own citizens a legal place to go to the bathroom, or to sit or lie down, they were being loaded onto cattle cars, bound for the killing camps of the Nazi regime.” So begins writer and poet Yours Foolie’s ebook, “The New Holocaust: Homelessness in America and What We Can Do About It.” The book is split into several sections. The first focuses on the current homelessness problem in the United States, the second dissects Yours Foolie’s idea of a perfect societal structure, and the third lays out how Americans today can begin to build that perfect world.

After offering a brief glimpse of what it feels like to experience the stigma of homelessness, Yours Foolie takes readers through a total rejection of capitalism and modern Western society. She pulls characteristics from several pre-colonial tribes, most notably the Kikuyu people of Kenya. The Kikuyu have been extensively documented by several ethnographers, however Yours Foolie does not mention any specific studies in her book. They are still a prevalent ethnic group, but the Kikuyu yours foolie focuses on are from “prior to ‘civilization’s’ arrival on their scene.” Her lavish descriptions of the tribe’s perfectly fair society are the only time her writing shows no signs of doubt or criticism.

Yours Foolie views the Kikuyu as an almost mythical tribe who lived in a blissful utopia where society functioned on equity, balance and altruism. According to her descriptions, the tribes of pre-colonial Kenya had no faults. She describes a world free of jealousy, theft, unfairness, hunger, hate, marital unhappiness, want or need. She never once expresses doubt that this is how the world used to be. She mentions “authors” and “credible sources” often in her section about the Kikuyu, but does not offer names or references.

Yours Foolie’s lack of formal citations can be frustrating for readers wanting footnotes and hard evidence. Her words make more sense when viewed outside of the scholarly articles and ethnographies that she “references.” She never claims a faith, but viewing her descriptions of the Kikuyu through a faith lens helps to validate her words without being weighed down by inaccuracy or lack of proof. “Yours Foolie regards the Divine as existing in the center of a gorgeous cosmic gem,” she writes, “Through each facet of this gem, one may gaze upon a slightly different aspect of the very same cosmic force…”

The Kikuyu existed in the past and still exist today, which makes it hard for most of us to read her descriptions without wanting some kind of proof of their accuracy. But, if we realize that Yours Foolie is showing us the Kikuyu through this “multidimensional cosmic gem,” we can begin to understand her Kikuyu outside of any exaggeration or citation error.

Perhaps the Kikuyu tribes Yours Foolie describes are her Eden or her Nirvana, her Jannah or Heaven. Despite not fact-checking most details, the author has still gained insight from the Kikuyu, which she wants to pass on to her readers.

The rest of her book – which addresses homelessness and unfair treatment – proves humanity is far from perfect. Yours Foolie describes today’s world as cruel and cutthroat, unrelenting in its mistreatment of the less fortunate. Seeing this disconnect in her writing is both profound and heartbreaking, and again draws parallels to major religions of the day.

The middle section of the book focuses on several vague, malleable words. “Dreams.” “Love.” “Forgiveness.” These pages include dozens of quotes from politicians, pop stars, poets, and everyone in between. They dot Yours Foolie’s pages like footnotes or scientific proofs. And like a densely-sourced scientific paper, these quotes become quite tedious to sift through. They pile into heaps of slightly altered phrasing, until Yours Foolie’s words have to fight to be heard through them. If her first section lacked “proof,” this one certainly makes up for it.

Her strongest points are short, subtle, and full of original wisdom. “If even happiness doesn’t make us happy, what will?” she asks, after encouraging readers to celebrate the joy of others.

“The New Holocaust” is as dark and confusing as it sounds. It is packed with conspiracy theory and a general mistrust of the good in humanity. It would be easy to read this book and write it off as too darkly poetic or cynical. It sometimes seems that way. But “The New Holocaust” also includes deep insight of both the good and the evil of which humans are capable.

In the first part of the book, and again on the last page, Yours Foolie seems to have lost all trust in humanity. Her tone is bitterly nihilistic. After describing how quickly homelessness can happen, she includes a list of “potential predators roaming your new turf” that includes everyone in society from charity workers to police to best friends. Yet she obviously believes humans are capable of community and caring for each other. She writes of a native culture in Canada during the French and Indian war that was unfamiliar with the concept of telling a lie.

Someone with a cynical view of humankind would never think any human at any time would fit those descriptions. Yours Foolie does not believe that humans are born evil or intentionally cause suffering. She uses her insights from the Kikuyu to show she thinks humankind is very capable of gentleness, love, and equal treatment. She gives readers instructions on how to nurture society outside the guidance of a higher power, and based only within the good that we are capable of on our own and within our communities. Ironically, Yours Foolie might have more faith in people than most of us.

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