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Patrick (Australia)

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Ideas: A History
Ideas: A History
by Peter Watson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Best non-fiction book I've read, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Ideas: A History (Paperback)
Super interesting, extremely well written. A great survey of ideas up until around 1900 - not sure if Watson has a book covering the 20th century, but I would definitely buy it if he wrote it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 28, 2014 10:05 PM BST


The Idea of Justice
The Idea of Justice
by Amartya Sen
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

2.0 out of 5 stars Why write something in 40 pages when you can do it in 400?, 12 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Idea of Justice (Paperback)
This is the first book by Amartya Sen I have read. I respect the guy hugely as an intellectual, but as an engaging writer not at all. I think you could sum up what he says in this book in 4 pages, and detail it enough in 40 pages - but he writes it in 400 pages. He rambles - a lot - gets caught up in minor technicalities and repeats himself over and over. On top of that, his writing is so full of Sahara-dry academic terms that you can read some sentences 20 or 25 times and still not get any meaning out of them. In his defence, it seems he knows personally most of the people whose theories he criticises, so, nice guy that he is, he treats them with kid gloves, first praising their work and then gently saying what's wrong with it.

This is a book by an academic for academics, not for interested lay readers. I think someone else will come along and write an accessible coverage of Sen's work which will be much more readable.

(Sorry for not covering the content of the book, but other reviewers have done that.)


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