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50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas You Really Need to Know series) by [Dupre, Ben, Dupré, Ben]
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50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas You Really Need to Know series) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know is the ultimate guide to the most important ideas in history. There has never been any shortage of bright ideas: ingenious schemes and fancies that shine brilliantly, only to fizzle out when their essential hollowness becomes apparent. Big ideas, though, are altogether rarer: ideas that are enduring and irresistible because they are so consummate in their conception, so perfect in their timing, so audacious in their ambition, or so devastating in their effect. The full sweep of such ideas - from the beautiful and the wondrous to the uglyl and the debased - is covered in this volume.
In a series of 50 accessible and lucidly written essays, Ben Dupré probes some of the most significant ideas in politics, philosophy, religion, economics, science and the arts. Some of these are unimpeachable (liberty, reason); other mind-numbing (The Big Bang, chaos); a few mysterious (fate, surrealism) or downright despicable (fascism, racism). What they have in common is that they all matter and have left a deep impression on human civilisation.
Demystifying and entertaining, 50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know is the perfect introduction to some of the most influential ideas ever conceived, from a writer with a real gift for popularizing often complex and challenging concepts.

From the Back Cover

Platonism.
Aristotelianism.
The golden rule.
Altruism.
Liberty.
Tolerance.
Scepticism.
Reason.
Punishment.
Materialism.
Relativism.
Utilitarianism.
Existentialism.
Evil.
Fate.
Soul.
Faith.
Fundamentalism.
Atheism.
Secularism.
Creationism.
War.
Duty.
Utopia.
Liberalism.
Democracy.
Conservatism.
Imperialism.
Nationalism.
Multiculturalism.
The social contract.
Republicanism.
Communism.
Fascism.
Racism.
Feminism.
Islamism.
Capitalism.
Globalization.
Classicism.
Romanticism.
Modernism.
Surrealism.
Censorship.
Evolution.
Gaia.
Chaos.
Relativity.
Quantum mechanics.
The Big Bang.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 584 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (3 Sept. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0064BWF9I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #228,112 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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By Mal on 12 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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Format: Hardcover
Eclectic collection of Mankind's greatest ideas, concepts and theories brilliantly explained in an accessible fashion
by the author.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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