Many people wish they knew more about philosophy. They might hear names like Montesquieu and Wittgenstein bandied about across dinner tables, and wish they knew more of what they were about. Yes they might be daunted by the volumes of reading required to determine that.
Not any more. Madsen Pirie has produced a first class summary of the ideas of 101 of the greatest thinkers, getting to the essence of their contribution, and what was innovative and important about it, and all in 400 words for each of them. This is a book you could read in an evening, if you could stand the information overload. It actually makes a good dipping book, too, in that Dr Pirie writes engagingly as well as clearly, giving a glimpse of their lives in most cases, as well as their ideas.
It is a superb way to get a grip on the subject; and will undoubtedly stimulate readers to delve more into those whom Madsen Pirie calls the "makers of modern thought".