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on 27 February 2016
This book is based on Lewis' lectures at University of Durham in 1943. Over 70 years on, the text describes exactly the path that we have gone down, making this book read like prophecy. This is the power of Lewis' insight which still benefits us today by illuminating the folly we are in and the "final stage" we are heading - the abolition of man! Is there still time to arrest the trend? I think not not because it's too late but because few people are warned. Perhaps we all should read this book and make an informed choice - do we really want that future for our offspring if we are lucky enough to have escaped the knife ourselves?

The pressure is on to eradicate all the fundamental core values that we hold. We see our traditional values being assaulted without stirring much alarm. We reason on some of the first principles that define us as human, and human nature is the final area of "Nature" that we seek to conquer or overpower. Then who are we? Lewis argues, 'Man's conquest of Nature turns out, in the moment of its consummation, to be Nature's conquest of Man.' (p. 41) 'We have been trying like Lear, to have it both ways: to lay down our human prerogative and yet at the same time to retain it. It is impossible.' (p.43)

I must say, as pointed out by Lewis, schools today play a crucial role in "conditioning" our kids and the future generation under the regulation of the state. What Lewis has argued has happened at school today, and sadly for us, we do not have a critical voice as forceful, articulate and eloquent to expose the danger of this path for everyone to see. A sober read.
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on 12 April 2016
Actually this must be about the fifth copy I've purchased because I keep giving them away. Such a very important - and prophetic - book. Although C S Lewis is known as a Christian writer, this is more about education and the nurturing of the emotional/spiritual/"heart" of youngsters. He uses the term "men without chests" to describe the effect of education which focuses only on the mind and the body and forgets the appreciation of beauty. .
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on 6 December 2015
This is by far the best of Lewis's work. Although it is short, it is also chock-a-bloc full of insight and wisdom, and foresight, that its sadly rather eerie to see that when he wrote this in the 1940's, todays West is what he foresaw. It is a book that everyone should read, without exception. This along with his essays 'On Ethics', 'Willing Slaves of the Welfare State', 'The Poison of Subjectivism', 'Membership', and 'The Inner Ring', are must reads, they really are. They are not at all religious, but clearly one can see where his loyalties lean. His ability to he philosophize is second to none, he is perhaps one of the most underrated philosophers in the last two centuries, but with this work in particular, as numerous others on here have already said, it is somewhat of a life-changing work. It really is that pointed, and far seeing.
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on 7 March 2013
This is a thought-provoking read, in classic C.S. Lewis style. I would not go as far as he does with the consequences of naturalistic philosophy being subtly brought into education (I still think that children who learn morality at home will be less likely to fall into these traps at school). Yet, I do think that his warning is relevant for today - school-leavers are not taught to closely examine what they are fed at university, but rather blindly follow whatever 'the experts' say. As a result, few students ever think critically about dubious 'scientific' theories such as evolution. The naturalistic philosophy that comes with evolution leads on to the logical conclusion that humans are just another species of mammal, and morality and truth are not objective realities. The resulting acceptance of evil and falsehood as the norm are fulfillments of what C.S. Lewis was considering in his day.
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on 24 July 2014
I bought this as it is meant to be a seminal work. I am a scientist and therefore found this book really hard work, but it was worth all the effort to read and re-read until I made sense of the arguments.
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on 15 February 2017
Well worth reading. Can only recommend.
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on 16 April 2014
I feel validated after reading this. All I have thought to be wrong with society demonstrated more eloquently than any modern author could.
This is the second time a CS Lewis book has given me pause! This book should be the test for our educators...are they "men without chests?"
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on 14 June 2014
He has a gift for exposing and elegantly conveying the truth. A short number but one that everyone should read and meditate on
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on 4 April 2016
Superb
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on 6 April 2013
As several other reviewers have noted, this book starts with an excessively distracting rant about some mid-20th Century school textbook. And it seems to go on for ages, feeling unjust in its criticism of an inadvertent philosophical faux pas that the authors of this long-forgotten textbook have made.

But if you can only bare with it and keep going you realise that the vital point he is making is buried in the heart of the book, and actually the subliminal nature of reductionist and relativistic thinking is just the problem he is talking about. It was only about half way through the book that I realised what CS Lewis' message was and, more importantly, how pertinent it is to public life in 2013 Britain. Stunning.

Because of the format it is fairly inaccessible for average readers like me, but in terms of the central idea this book is a potential life-changer. An easy 5 stars.
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