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Russell Remembered [Hardcover]

Rupert Crawshay-Williams
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (29 Oct 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192111973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192111975
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,952,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Affectionate account of Russell from 1945 7 May 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The author met Russell first as one of a small party, I think with Clough-Ellis or whatever the architect of Portmeirion was called; and he recalls his feeling of nervousness over possible embarrassments that might take place, or yawning silences, whatever. In fact he says Russell liked gossip and small talk. He records his later surprise that Russell and his wife felt nervous about asking them, in turn, to call. He couldn't believe Russell was so isolated.

Crawshay-Williams says at the time he knew nothing of philosophy; extraordinarily, Russell allowed him to read the MS of Human Knowledge while it was being written. C-W also reviewed volume 1 of Russell's Autobiography! And he puts in philosophical footnotes, clearly feeling that philosophy has rubbed off onto him. (C-W's book 'The Comforts of Unreason' was published in 1947). Some of this book was jotted down after chats (there's a similar book about Whitehead) but tape recorders, when they became available, were cumbersome.

Great many famous people in passing: Brockway, Cantor, Deutscher, John Dewey, Eddington, Fermi, Anatole France, J B S Haldane, Alger Hiss, Holroyd, Julian Huxley, William James, Storm Jameson, Roy Jenkins, Arthur Koestler, G E Moore, Kant, Kennedy assassination, Keynes, Kingsley, Vachel Lindsay, Frank Lloyd Wright, Malinowsky, Ottoline Morrell, Nasser, A S Neill, David Pears, Michael Postan, Schweitzer, Susan Stebbing, several Stracheys, Julian Trevelyan, Trotter of crowd psychology, Voltaire, Alan Wood.

This was the time of the 'Brains Trust', and 'History of Western Philosophy'; up to Russell's Vietnam War Crimes Tribunal. Linguistic philosophy, atomic weapons, Kennedy's assassination, Khrushchev make appearances.
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5.0 out of 5 stars encountering a giant 30 Jun 2010
By Klaatu
Format:Hardcover
Bertrand Russell(1872-1970) was a giant of twentieth century thought. Rupert Crawshay-Williams, who got to know him well in the last 25 years or so of his long life, has produced a truly lovely portrait of his friend. The book is full of interest, charming anecdotes and insights into Russell's character and personality. It is fondly and affectionatley written. Anyone who appreciates Russell's work and life will really enjoy this delightful piece of Russelliana.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Bertrand Russell - good but not great book 23 Oct 2012
By Rebecca - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
From the book's inside flap: "What was Bertrand Russell like as a private person and cherished friend? How did his genius manifest itself in everyday life?...A friend's personal record of his conversation and his wit, his preoccupations and concerns."

Doesn't that sound great? I mean who wouldn't want to know what one of the great geniuses of his generation was like in daily life? But sadly I found I was forcing myself to read but not enjoying it, it can get very technical, with a lot of discussion about philosophy.

Well that shouldn't be a surprise considering the subject is Bertrand Russell, however since the author was a neighbor and the flap promised a personal recording, I thought that would be the focus but it turns out this neighbor also happens to be a philosopher himself.

Russell's Autobiography is pretty good and a better bet, easier to read and more interesting Bertrand Russell Bundle: Autobiography (Routledge Classics) and contrary to its doorstop size, it's a quick read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Affectionate account of Russell from 1945 15 July 2010
By Rerevisionist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The author met Russell first as one of a small party, I think with Clough-Ellis or whatever the architect of Portmeirion was called; and he recalls his feeling of nervousness over possible embarrassments that might take place, or yawning silences, whatever. In fact he says Russell liked gossip and small talk. He records his later surprise that Russell and his wife felt nervous about asking them, in turn, to call. He couldn't believe Russell was so isolated.

Crawshay-Williams says at the time he knew nothing of philosophy; extraordinarily, Russell allowed him to read the MS of Human Knowledge while it was being written. C-W also reviewed volume 1 of Russell's Autobiography! And he puts in philosophical footnotes, clearly feeling that philosophy has rubbed off onto him. (C-W's book 'The Comforts of Unreason' was published in 1947). Some of this book was jotted down after chats (there's a similar book about Whitehead) but tape recorders, when they became available, were cumbersome.

Great many famous (not in the popular sense) people in passing: Brockway, Cantor, Deutscher, John Dewey, Eddington, Fermi, Anatole France, J B S Haldane, Alger Hiss, Holroyd, Julian Huxley, William James, Storm Jameson, Roy Jenkins, Arthur Koestler, G E Moore, Kant, Kennedy assassination, Keynes, Kingsley, Vachel Lindsay, Frank Lloyd Wright, Malinowsky, Ottoline Morrell, Nasser, A S Neill, David Pears, Michael Postan, Schweitzer, Susan Stebbing, several Stracheys, Julian Trevelyan, Trotter of crowd psychology, Voltaire, Alan Wood.

This was the time of the 'Brains Trust', and 'History of Western Philosophy'; up to Russell's Vietnam War Crimes Tribunal. Linguistic philosophy, atomic weapons, Kennedy's assassination, Khrushchev make appearances.

A typical bit of philosophy is: 'Russell is by no means alone in this habit of first assuming that we know certain propositions to be true, and only then enquiring how we know them. This assumption is at the basis of the whole controversy as to whether certain statements can be both synthetic (empirical) and at the same time a priori (i.e. known to be true without experience, as 'Two plus two equals four'..) One of these controversial statements is 'Nothing can be both red and green all over. Yet there seems to be no agreed way of formally demonstrating that it is true in this absolute sense. ..'

If you like Russell, this book gives a good account of the final period of his life, viewed by a sympathetic neighbor.
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