Q&A: Eyal Press on Beautiful Souls, Nonconformists Who Stand Up to Power


"We think of Germans and how could they have followed orders? In fact, we all follow orders most of the time," says Eyal Press, author of the book Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times.

The book depicts the journeys of ordinary people - a Swiss border guard who broke the law by letting Jewish refugees enter his country during World War Two, an Israeli soldier who refused to serve in the Occupied Territories, and a financial-industry whistleblower - who risk everything to defy authority, groupthink, and the status quo in order to do what's right.

Press talked with Reason TV's Anthony L. Fisher about the lack of a "Hollywood ending" for the brave subjects of his book, and how the notorious Milgram Experiment is not as bleak a depiction of man's tendency to blindly follow cruel orders as it is frequently understood to be.

About 5 minutes.

Produced by Anthony L. Fisher. Camera by Jim Epstein.

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