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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting though inconclusive, 10 Oct 2010
This review is from: Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism & Syndicalism (Paperback)
The correct title was 'Roads to Freedom' - 'Proposed' was added without his permission by the American publisher. The seed for this book was the First World War, which Russell correctly perceived as a disaster. In the 50s and 60s this book was available in bookshops (in the UK, published by the now-defunct Allen and Unwin) - the other reviewer presumably remembers this.

As with H G Wells, Russell wanted to consider reconstructing the world ('Principles of Social Reconstruction' was his book on that). His main limitation in my view was his impracticality in a physical sense: he knew little about food and water and buildings and population, and was therefore rather ungrounded - like many people he was overimpressed by verbosity, possibly a Christian heritage - all the material quoted is bookish stuff. (His first book, 'German Social Democracy', had the same fault). Russell admired Marx, regarding him as a first-rate thinker - Russell wasn't the only person to be lured by the novelty of the then-new immigration of Jewish 'intellectuals'. Russell liked Bakunin, and also had hopes for the trade union movement, which within living memory had been illegal. Looking back, I personally think that movement was compromised right from the start, so that 'socialism' mutated into various horrors.

The book isn't too long and I recommend it both for its enthusiasm, but also for mulling over and contemplating the traps lurking in wait for reformers.
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