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Customer Review

Or alternatively, we could subtitle this book 'In search of a point of view.'

Good things first. This is a much better introduction to humanism than Peter Cave's truly awful attempt. It is easy to read, non dogmatic and makes many interesting and thought provoking points. There is little I would disagree with, except some political points which are rather left wing for my taste (this means they are VERY left wing) and which have little to do with humanism anyway. I found the section on the history of humanism very interesting.

It remains however a rather academic work, and like A C Grayling's latest book, puts a lot of emphasis on the individual working things out, in an intellectual way, for him or herself. In this it excludes most of the human population from accessing humanism, which is a pity.

On the down side, the author reminds me very much of a butterfly - extremely difficult to pin down. Much of the text is full of unresolved questions. Often when making a point, the author will follow this with an alternative point of view and leave the matter open. I am sure this type of approach earns points from the academic establishment, but it has limited value in the real world. I kept wanting to ask, in my frustration - 'yes, but what do YOU think?'.

In the end, I found the whole thing rather depressing. Jim Herrick's vision doesn't go much further than trying to 'make life a bit more bearable' and refusing to take a position on anything.

So overall worth reading, given the shortage of good titles on this subject, but hardly a strong recommendation for humanism generally.
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