This is not a book for moralizers, ideologues, fanatics, dogmatists, right thinkers, or anyone who cannot tolerate having some pet idea or another ripped to rhetorical shreds. David Stove must have been one of the most splenetic philosophical critics ever to put pen to paper. There are very few ideas, thinkers, ideologues that Stove approves of. He is, to use a phrase of the great critic William Hazlitt, a "great hater." Whether its Karl Popper, Plato, feminism, Darwinism, religion, idealism, Thomas Kuhn, Victorianism, Schopenhauer, academic, racial egalitarianism---they are all so much grist to the Stovean critical mill. Stove relishes attacking popular positions. Are women as intelligent men? No, declares Stove; nobody believes that, he insists, despite all the liberal fustian to the contrary. Is racism a valid concept? No, Stove argues, it is a mere neologism that nobody accepts in everyday life. Stove's iconoclasm might lead some to dismiss him as a mere crank. Certainly there is nothing easier than to disagree with him (his positions do tend towards unpalatable extremes). But because of Stove's incendiary wit, his clear, forceful, ingenious (though sometimes, admittedly, sophistical) argumentation, and his pungent, graceful, perspicuous style, he cannot be so casually dismissed. Stove is a master at finding compelling reasons to adopt outrageous opinions. Against "The Idols of the Age" is a contrarian classic. It belongs on the shelf of every person who is opposed, on principle, to all the appalling bilge that passes for common wisdom among today's "intellectuals." And even, as is more than probable, Stove attacks some idea or individual that you admire, what of it? We all of us need to be shaken out of our dogmatic slumbers now and again. I can think of no more invigorating way to be awaken than by reading Stove's brilliantly inflammatory essays. Highly recommended.