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Power: A New Social Analysis (Routledge Classics) Paperback – February 2, 2004
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About the Author
Sir Samuel Brittan is the economics editor of "The Financial Times".
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Top Customer Reviews
Russell's descriptions of the motivations behind power seeking individuals and organizations, the appeal of leaders, types of power and the basis for authority are compelling. The means for acquiring and exercising power are described by Russell in a systematic, conspiratorial manner. By understanding its appeal and the methods by which it is attained, Russell argues, mankind can hope to tame power. I felt that in this book Russell sought to deliver a "world-view" a la Karl Marx, whose communist ideas were based on the belief that the source of conflict in the world was man's alienation. With a twist, Russell might say that man's (and man's organizations, which he grants develop an organic life of their own) grasping for power is the chief cause of pain, stifled freedom, and stunted progress.
It's important to keep in mind that this book was first published in 1938 - though it's not hard to do while reading since Russell continuously warns of an impending great war. He refers to WWI as the "War" and an imminent WWII as the "Great War.Read more ›
The following page numbers refer to the Allen & Unwin edition of the book.
p. 139: "If, in the name of Reason, you summon a man to alter his fundamental purposes- to pursue, say, the general happiness rather than his own power- you will fail, and you will deserve to fail, since Reason alone cannot determine the ends of life."
p. 299: "The temper required to make a success of democracy is, in the practical life, exactly what the scientific temper is in the intellectual life. Truth, it holds, is neither completely attainable nor completely unattainable; it is attainable in a certain degree, and that only with difficulty."
p. 300: "Expose children to the most vehement and eloquent advocates on all sides of every question, past and present! Then have the children summarize the arguments used. This will gently show that eloquence is inversely proportional to solid reason. Learn from advertisers, who have led the way in the technique of producing irrational belief.Read more ›
He wrote in the first chapter of this 1938 book, “Of the infinite desires of man, the chief are the desires for power and glory… As a rule, however, the easiest way to obtain glory is to obtain power; this is especially the case as regards the men who are active in relation to public events.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reading this book is an education in itself. Power may not be the key to understanding all social life in the way Russell ambitiously tried to show, but it certainly explains a... Read morePublished on January 22, 2014 by Gordon McQueen
Bertrand Russell thought the key factor motivating men and nations was power. In this work he covers a wide variety of expressions of power, from the economic to the political,... Read morePublished on May 24, 2013 by bronx book nerd
Russell intended this book to found a new science, of human power, in the societal sense. Power meaning 'the production of intended effects'. Read morePublished on June 26, 2010 by Rerevisionist