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Humanism (The New Critical Idiom) Paperback – 7 Nov 1996


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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (7 Nov. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415110521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415110525
  • Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 12.3 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,178,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Davies knows what he is writing about and knows how to write about it.' - New Humanist --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Tony Davies was formerly Professor and Head of the English Department at the University of Birmingham, from which he recently retired. He has edited Milton’s poetry and prose, and written on renaissance and modern literature, literary theory and the teaching of English.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Potter on 21 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book - thorough enough to be of use to those needing it for serious study, yet clear and unassuming enough (even with a handy and basic glossary for those terms you ought to know but aren't too sure of) to be read by those (like myself) who possess very little previous knowledge on Humanism. Tony Davies takes what might be considered an idiocentric approach to the structure of the book, beginning as he does with the 19th century rather that at the chronological beginning of his subject. However this structure works well to tell the story he intends to tell, with each chapter picking up a fascinating intellectual trail as Davies follows Humanism through the various schools and areas of scholarship with which it has been tied. When Davies, in his introduction, hopes the reader will be 'patient enough to let it (the structure of his book) unfold in its own way' then it is advice well worth heading, for although the book can indeed be read in a chronological order, one risks losing a unique and fascinating view of intellectual history, as well as a jolly good story.

Another reader has reviewed this book as merely restating 'many fairly-commonplace (in literary criticism circles) postmodern critiques of humanism, without critically interogating [sic] these sources.' As I have relatively little knowledge of Humanisms and Anti-humanisms I can't categorically deny this claim, however I personally found the book to be balanced, well-written, carefully thought out, and intellectually rigorous. There was never a point when I felt the author to be at fault and, as to the claim that not every source is critically interrogated, I can only point out that this is an introduction to the topic, not a thorough study of a particular aspect of what is in fact a huge subject.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alasdair Hamish Stuart on 22 April 2008
Format: Paperback
It is claimed on the cover of this book that 'Davies offers a clear introduction to many uses of this influencial yet complex concept' (ie. 'humanism'). He does not. Rather he restates many fairly-commonplace (in literary criticism circles) postmodern critiques of humanism, without critically interogating these sources. For a student looking for a workable definition, or for any reader seeking a clear introduction, this book is unsuitable, though it does offer an intriguing snapshot of the way in which modern literary criticism has self-destructed.
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