I picked my title for this review before I located the best reason for thinking so on page 131, which mentions the history of the link between philosophy and the politics of those who demystify "only in order to mystify better. Although this programme was initially tied to the exercise of power, it here becomes a rule of thought, a metaphysical conception . . . It is not simply a matter of destroying the notions of the true and the false; it also concerns the entrance of obscure forces on to the stage through the moral ruin of the intellect." I read this book as a way of approaching an understanding of the politics of a superpower which is dedicated to keeping its strategic thinking truly nukers, but I appreciated the book more for the frank realization of the pain involved in facing such a dismal philosophy realistically. Nietzsche admitted this most clearly in a letter which he wrote to Gast on 5 October 1879, "I have reasons for fidelity here, for 'behind thought stands the devil' of a tormenting attack of pain." (p. 18) The letters printed from pages 16 to 22 in the chapter on "The Origin of a Semiotic Impulse" are outstanding. On a lighter note, I could play games with the index, where "Jokes" would appear, but it wouldn't be nice for those involved if I pointed out that there aren't any entries between . . . (this would have been funnier if there was an entry for the Joint Chiefs of Staff). There are a lot of entries for "monstrosity," though. Using the index entry for absurdity leads to the assurance that there are some limits which really ought to be observed, because "formations of sovereignty cannot claim to exercise the absurd as violence--if they do not assign themselves a meaning--a meaning in which servitude, the subjected forces, would participate-- and this meaning can never be that of pure absurdity." (p. 119) In short, it is possible to read this book, but it is hardly likely to be edifying unless the reader is deeply vexed and willing to surrender a lot of the sense that a simple circle could pretty much sum up everything, or put things in their respective places and keep them there.