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Russell: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 16 May 2002


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About the Author


A. C. Grayling is Reader in Philosophy, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Supernumerary Fellow, St Anne's College, Oxford. He is author of Wittgenstein in the Very Short Introductions series, as well as An Introduction to Philosophical Logic, The Refutation of Scepticism, and Berkeley: The Central Arguments. He is the editor of Philosophy: A Guide through the Subject and Philosophy 2: Further Through the Subject.


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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An elegant and marvellously readable account 8 Oct. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Bertrand Russell thought and wrote about many things from highly technical logic to popular questions of politics and education. In the lucid, elegant and beautifully accurate prose for which he is well known (see his other books and his writings for the Financial Times Book Review, Prospect magazine, and elsewhere), the British philosopher A. C. Grayling gives a concise survey of Russell's entire range of thought. In the biographical first chapter Russell's life and works are summarised; in the next two chapters his achievements in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, and general philosophy are described with succinctness and clarity; and in the final chapters his popular and political thought is explained, ending with an assessment of his achievement as one of the century's greatest thinkers. Because Russell is a founding figure in analytic philosophy, an understanding of his work provides an introduction to contemporary debates in philosophy also, so this little book is not only a highly pleasurable "good read", but an education in the basics of philosophy.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good survey of Russel's Work 7 Jun. 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Grayling has achieved a good survey of Russel's Work in the realm of logic and philosophy as well as his contributions to social, moral, political and educational debates. The selling point for me is the fact that he does it with so much brevity and crispness. Without going into the gory details of his philosophical and logical ideas, Grayling still strikes a good balance and makes for some intersting reading.
Highly recommended for people who'd like a quick introduction to Russel.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the most important philosopher of the 20th century 9 Jun. 2009
By Massimo Pigliucci - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Russell was a huge influence on me when I was in high school, and is chiefly responsible for my career choice of eventually becoming a professional philosopher. So I can hardly be expected to be detached in commenting on a book attempting to cover Russell's life and philosophy. Still, Grayling pulls it off very nicely, giving the reader a good sense of the long and complex life of Bertrand Russell, his contributions to logic and mathematics, and his writings on social and moral issues (he was very politically active, and got arrested twice for anti-war activities). The last chapter is also -- I think -- a well balanced appraisal of Russell's overall contribution to modern philosophy, both directly and through the people he influenced (beginning of course with Wittgenstein, who was Russell's student). A must read if you are interested in philosophy and don't want to tackle technical commentaries on BR.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Russell's Life and Works Summarized 7 Nov. 2011
By Joseph A. Schrock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a long-time fan of Bertrand Russell's writings -- barring his negative stance on religion/spirituality -- I find A.C. Grayling's account of Russell's life and his monumentally creative thinking and writing a pleasure to read.

This book is more about Russell's ideas and writings than his personal life. Grayling seems to me to do a fair analysis of Russell's philosophical stances and his works. This book is brief, but is rather jam-packed with brief summaries of many of Russell's greatest achievements.

Anyone interested in knowing who Bertrand Russell was, what he believed, what his most deeply held convictions were, and what he contributed to 20th century culture should find this small volume a good source to consult. If you are a Russell fan, this book is not a bad purchase, and even if your interests are only tangential to the philosophy of Russell, you can hardly lose by getting this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Representative of Russell's autobiography 13 Sept. 2014
By Rudra Prasanna Mohapatra - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Russell is my favourite. Versatile genius with knowledge in philosophy and mathematics while got Nobel prize for literature. This book expresses many facts on him. Good piece of literature.
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