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The Threat to Reason: How the Enlightenment Was Hijacked and How We Can Reclaim It [Hardcover]

Dan Hind
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

2 July 2007
Today, media commentators, intellectuals and politicians declare that western science and rationality are threatened by irrational enemies. Evangelicals, postmodernists, and Islamists are on the march, they say. The Rome that science built is under siege. But there's a problem with these stirring attempts to defend the truth. They aren't true. In this urgent new book, Dan Hind confronts the great machinery of deception in which we live, and which now threatens to destroy our civilization. In particular, he takes to task a group of prominent intellectuals who have exaggerated the threat posed by the so-called forces of unreason - religion, postmodernism and other "mumbo-jumbo". The commentators, says Hind, distract us from much more pressing threats to an open democratic society based on freedom of speech and inquiry. This book shows that the real threats to reason aren't wacky or foreign or stupid; they reside in our state and corporate bureaucracies - and, one way or another, they probably pay your salary. In recovering the idea of Enlightenment, Hind explores its vital importance and reveals how it can help us to achieve a truly democratic politics, in which we have a genuine say in the decisions that are taken on our behalf.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; annotated edition edition (2 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844671526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844671526
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 608,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Fine, lucid and sharp...well written and worth reading before the next wave of western tanks crosses a border, somewhere in the Middle East. --Sunday Times

A thoughtful polemic. --Financial Times

An elegant polemical essay. --Independent

From the Publisher


In exploring how the Enlightenment continues to operate as a powerful guiding principle in Western politics, The Threat to Reason reveals how the truly pressing threats to free inquiry reside within the allegedly enlightened institutions of state and corporation. In recovering the concept of Enlightenment from its self-appointed defenders, The Threat to Reason demonstrates its crucial importance to a truly democratic politics. Enlightenment does not call on us to stare at the spectacle of a showdown between reason and its enemies. Enlightenment calls on us to understand, and then change, the world. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Think for yourself 22 Oct 2007
This book really made me think. Instead of just going along with the assumption that the enemies of reason are such things as Christian fundamentalism, homeopathy and postmodernism, the author shows how better to direct our critical energies in order to preserve our ability to think for ourselves. In doing this he makes complicated philosophical arguments clear and, most importantly, relevant to our current predicament. By showing how reason can be undermined from the inside, by processes such as the corporate take-over of science, this book has helped me to think more critically, applying his methods to other areas of life, such as my own field of psychotherapy.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a different look at political issues 6 Oct 2008
By Julia Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hinds makes us think beyond the obvious political labels and fears of either the right or the left in a readable philosophical extended essay.
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