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Bertrand Russell's Best [Paperback]

Bertrand Russell

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Book Description

26 Oct 1981
First published in 1981. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


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More About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970). Philosopher, mathematician, educational and sexual reformer, pacifist, prolific letter writer, author and columnist, Bertrand Russell was one of the most influential and widely known intellectual figures of the twentieth century. In 1950 he was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1950 for his extensive contributions to world literature and for his "rationality and humanity, as a fearless champion of free speech and free thought in the West."

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Russell's the best ! 17 Jun 2000
By Alex De Visscher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a collection of extracts from Bertrand Russell's many books and papers. In about 150 pages, the editor collected some of the wittiest remarks Russell has ever made. They sould be read bearing in mind Russel's own advice: "I sould not wish to be thought in earnest only when I am solemn". Indeed, some of the funniest quotes in this book are also the deepest ones. Add to that the ramarkable eloquence and clarity of Russell's writings (he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1950), and you obtain a real treasure.
The contents of Russell's Best cover subjects as religion, ethics, politics and sex. Many of the views expressed in this book are obvious nowadays, but they were considered outrageous filth in conservative circles at the time of writing. Russell was a humanist and a pacifist, and he even spent some time in jail for that.
This book is a good opportunity for people without any training in philosophy to get acquainted with the views of a great thinker. The texts are so well-written that the novice can finish and understand the book in only a few hours. I cannot think of any other philosopher who could manage to do that.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHO SAYS THAT PHILOSOPHY HAS TO BE DULL, AND POORLY-WRITTEN? 20 Aug 2009
By Steven H. Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Not without reason was Bertrand Russell given the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950; a rather unusual honor for a modern philosopher---and particularly one known for his work in mathematical logic---but then, Russell was not your "typical" philosopher. He actually supported himself by his writing at many periods in his life (such as when he was running a "Free School" with his wife), rather than as a professor of philosophy (which is the norm, these days), and so he continually honed and refined his writing style over the years, so that it is always a pleasure to read. Even his self-described "potboilers"---which he admittedly wrote for the money---such as The Conquest of Happiness are a pleasure to read, for Russell's delightful prose style.

It should also be noticed that Russell was often FUNNY---at times, devastatingly so, with an acerbic wit combined with a keen philosophical intellect that effectively skewered his target. This collection consists of short (ranging from "one-liners" to several long paragraphs) excerpts from the full spectrum of Russell's huge output of books over an enormously long (he died at age 97) and productive career.

Topics include Politics, Ethics, Education, Religion, and of course Sex. It's remarkable to see that Russell's once-horrifyingly controversial comments on such topics as what we would now call "Serial Monogamy" now seem almost genteel.

This collection makes for a marvelous introduction to Russell, and will surely whet one's appetite to read at least some of the books these excerpts were taken from.
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