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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable
This doesn't have the narrow focus of Ben Dupre's excellent book on philosophy, which makes it all the more impressive that he has brought together such a wide variety of big ideas and grand theories into a very enjoyable collection, with his style and precision. There will be countless readers relieved at last to understand those long words ending in ism which they have...
Published on 28 Sep 2010 by Sedge Peat

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Just not good enough
Perhaps the concept was too ambitious, but in any case, this skimmed the surface, and suffered from being the work of a single author. I did not like being steered by someone who wanted me to think a particular way about the subjects. It would be better to just have them explained. I will have a look at other books in the series, and see if they are any better.
Published 6 months ago by Andy


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable, 28 Sep 2010
This review is from: 50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas) (Hardcover)
This doesn't have the narrow focus of Ben Dupre's excellent book on philosophy, which makes it all the more impressive that he has brought together such a wide variety of big ideas and grand theories into a very enjoyable collection, with his style and precision. There will be countless readers relieved at last to understand those long words ending in ism which they have been bandying about for years.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, fact-packed anthology of assorted ideas, 26 Oct 2009
This review is from: 50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas) (Hardcover)
Having previously tackled 50 Philosophy Ideas, author Ben Dupré now broadens his scope to focus on fifty of the most significant ideas in general that have left their mark on human civilisation over the past two and a half millenia. From liberty to liberalism, Gaia to Utopia, each idea is outlined in a manner that is, for the most part, highly readable and entertaining.

If you're already familiar with this series of books, you'll know what to expect: 4 pages allotted to each idea (just enough to introduce each concept and cover key aspects and figures), a timeline along the bottom providing a little context, and various side panels and pull-quotes to liven up each page. No illustrations in this one, but that's no great loss.

This title sits slightly apart from the other books in the series in that the overarching theme is more tenuous. Almost half the book covers philosophy and religion - the rest deals with politics, science, arts and economics. Obviously one casualty of this approach is that, unlike previous books, you don't finish it with the same sense that you've comprehensively covered all the basics. Its breadth means it is likely to appeal more to the curious reader looking for a book of isms than someone eager to educate themselves on a particular subject. (By the way, for a more extensive book of isms, try this one.)

One downside for me was the amount of overlap between this and Dupré's previous Quercus book, 50 Philosophy Ideas. I would have preferred ideas from the previous book like the Golden Rule and Platonism to have made way for new material. Still, the repetition is not quite so bad that you feel shortchanged. This is a well-written and balanced dip-in/dip-out book from a gifted writer, and an enjoyable entry in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 12 Jan 2013
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This review is from: 50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas) (Hardcover)
Enjoying this read, had it a day and more than half way through. Very informative, well written and put together. Can be a little bias towards the USA but otherwise a great book, I'd recommend to anyone especially Philosophy students
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Rewarding, 29 May 2010
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Michael Power - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas) (Hardcover)
Eclectic collection of Mankind's greatest ideas, concepts and theories brilliantly explained in an accessible fashion
by the author.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Just not good enough, 7 Jun 2014
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Andy (Waltham Abbey, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas) (Hardcover)
Perhaps the concept was too ambitious, but in any case, this skimmed the surface, and suffered from being the work of a single author. I did not like being steered by someone who wanted me to think a particular way about the subjects. It would be better to just have them explained. I will have a look at other books in the series, and see if they are any better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 15 Oct 2013
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This review is from: 50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas) (Hardcover)
Simple, clear explanation of key ideas regarding philosophy, politics, economics. Highly recommended, to be use as a quick reference and as an enjoyable read. Excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a great, 5 Dec 2014
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Dorothy Rogerson (Wirral, Merseyside Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas) (Hardcover)
a great item
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a little bit too lofty, 26 Aug 2010
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C. L. Dixon (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas) (Hardcover)
Ben Dupre has compiled a list of '50 ideas you really need to know', but I can think of plenty others that would've been better to include. Sometimes he finds it difficult to fill up the whole four pages for each subject, and waffles a lot. He has a particular audience in mind; one with an extensive vocabulary (or failing that, easy access to a dictionary) - his explanations aren't simple, but horribly complex and 'wordy'. You would be better off looking at the 50 ideas online and learning about them there.
I don't even know why I bought this book.. I knew about most of the ideas before hand anyway, but just thought that this would consolidate and add to what I already knew.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy reading, 16 May 2010
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Mr. S. Roy (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas) (Hardcover)
This is not a pleasure or relaxing reading. It is for peolple who are into heavy reading
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars big original ideas that became small, 28 Aug 2010
By 
Carlos Vazquez Quintana "cvq" (Linares- Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas) (Hardcover)
This book belongs to a series of divulgation centered in the idea: "50 ideas abut many things". Well, you never find 51 or 49 ideas or every else, but the best book are at last only paper, not real world.
This is a brief book, in general from a good series, but this is I think probably the poor and most unbalanced of that collection. Why?
Well, firstly, for the foreigner, the "Big ideas" are all, excepting some from ancient Greece, from Anglo- American thinkers, scientists, philosophers, but there are another thinkers from another countries.
But well, this is at last an English book and that's a minor defect. The main problem is some of these big ideas are taken from a point of view too restricted and short: the very example for this is the idea of "Islamism".
The author takes Islamism and forgets that's a religion at first as any other, because it has 1300 years of existence, but for the author, "Islamism" is a concept only united to the tragedy of 11 September 2001 in New York and his very close derivations: a problem I think, probably more politic than religious. That was of course a terrible incident, but religion of Allah, has to be in count that was born in a society of poor desert nomads and semi- wild shepherds, this is, nothing resembling today's developed western society. I think is very important to have in count things as this. Christianism also was at first a religion of zealots and the Vatican, treated and still do in many cases to vanish the real message of Christ and fights for social and politics power. We in Spain knew well Islamism, as Muslims remained here during 800 years.
It's only one of the errors and misconceptions of this book that has also many hits, but as I say, many failures.
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50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas)
50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas) by Ben Dupré (Hardcover - 3 Sep 2009)
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