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The Lazy Intellectual: Maximum Knowledge, Minimal Effort by [Wallace, Richard]
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The Lazy Intellectual: Maximum Knowledge, Minimal Effort Kindle Edition

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Length: 402 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

About the Author

Richard J. Wallace is a publishing professional who spends his time reading up on all things interesting. He lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 784 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media (18 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0044XV6NE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #578,386 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9fe30210) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2a885e8) out of 5 stars Concise overview of human knowledge 15 May 2012
By Learner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this little book. I like to get a concise overview of something before I study it in depth. This book delivers. The descriptions are readable, concise - and usually clear (more on that in a minute).

I got this specifically to begin my self-study of philosophy. I thought the section on philosophy was very good for how brief it is - the book typically has a page or less on each major philosopher.

There are of course limitations to books like this. You risk trivializing or over-simplifying. It can also make subjects appear trite.

For example, the book says the philosopher Heraclitus thought "that unity exists in diversity, that reality is one and many at the same time." This is pretty vague for someone who knows nothing about Heraclitus. I need just a little more explanation. This type of thing is why I give the book 4 stars instead of 5.

Of course you can quibble about what is included and what is left out. Ten pages about rock music? I wouldn't have done that. A page for Mozart, OK; but the same amount of text for the rock group Nirvana? As for religion, it includes Rastafarianism, of which there are one million worldwide. But I'm Mormon so I wonder why nothing about Mormons? There are 14 million of us.

To test out this book I looked up something I do know something about from previous study: Buddhism. The book states Buddhists believe "life is suffering, and suffering is caused by desire for pleasure." Hm, well, that is the explanation you often hear. Actually Buddhists believe, from what I have read, that the default state of living is dukkha, which isn't exactly suffering; it's deep dissatisfaction with life. We respond to dukkha by denying the natural order of things, which is constant change. We are forever trying to control things that are uncontrollable. We grasp after pleasure, avoid pain, and ignore the other "boring" 90% of reality including what's going on inside ourselves. We get angry or jealous or depressed. We have built a whole culture around escaping this dissatisfaction - distracting ourselves with movies, video games or internet, escaping into career, alcohol, etc. (Sorry, I do tend to go on and on about Buddhism, which I find fascinating. For more info: Mindfulness in Plain English: 20th Anniversary Edition.)

So, based on this, I will take everything I read in this book with a grain of salt. I will keep in mind that the explanations may be somewhat misleading due to their brevity. But it's a great starting place, a dip of the toe into the ocean of knowledge.

Overall, I think the authors have done a great job. Boiling down the vast spread of human knowledge like this was undoubtedly a challenging project, and in my opinion they succeeded.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0ab8f3c) out of 5 stars Very well done. 2 Jan. 2012
By Kellysue Hornsby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Got it for my 17 yr old daughter whose goal is to became a polymath. This book is a great start. The layout of the book is well thought out and easy to follow. The book makes it easy to read and you don't feel like you are reading a text book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By iOpine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full of things you didn't know, and precise. It tells what you need to know on an array of subjects in a format designed to keep the reader entertained. Bite size knowledge(tiny paragraphs) on each subject within a subject. i also bought this hardcover for around 6 dollars, and its a steal. If you want to learn more about subjects in general, this is the book for you.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0c3bda4) out of 5 stars Inch deep but a mile wide 21 April 2013
By Lisa McDonnell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Lazy Intellectual only goes an inch deep in each topic but a mile wide in scope. It covers topics like philosophy, religion, branches of science, mathematics, foundations of political thought, economics, and other topics. Not enough to be an expert on any topic but enough to drive the reading list in new directions to learn more.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa166806c) out of 5 stars If you love learning and knowledge, this book is for you. A fantastic overview of many academic subjects. 16 Sept. 2013
By Joseph J. Truncale - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are a curious and passionate seeker of knowledge this book is for you. This unique 394 page volume is filled with important information every educated person needs to know if they desire to be known as an "intellectual." It provides intellectual ammunition on a wide range of academic subjects. This excellent text is organized into ten subject areas. It provides detailed overviews and principles on each topic. They chapters include the following subject areas:

Chapter one covers important concepts in "Philosophy." "Music" is covered in chapter two. The third chapter deals with "The Classics." "Modern Language" is explored in chapter four. Chapter five explores important points in "History." "Language Arts" is covered in chapter six. Important "Religion" issues are explained in chapter seven. Chapter eight deals with the "Social Sciences." and the final chapter summarizes important concepts in "Mathematics." This is a fun book to read if you love knowing about essential information on a wide range of academic subjects.

In conclusion, I do not think one has to be a "Lazy Intellectual" to enjoy this book. Indeed, it is an excellent reference book you will want to make part of your personal library. I loved this book for the huge amount of solid information it contains. Anyone who loves knowledge should check out this book.

Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: The Samurai Soul: An old warrior's poetic tribute)
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