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Power: A New Social Analysis (Routledge Classics) Paperback – March 2, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (March 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415325072
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415325073
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #821,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"'Extremely penetrating analysis of human nature in politics' - The Sunday Times; 'An acute and learned study.' - The Economist"

About the Author

Betrand Russell (1872- 1970). The leading British philosopher of the twentieth century, Russell made major contributions in the areas of logic and epistemology. Politically active and habitually outspoken, his ethical principles twice led to imprisonment.

More About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970). Philosopher, mathematician, educational and sexual reformer, pacifist, prolific letter writer, author and columnist, Bertrand Russell was one of the most influential and widely known intellectual figures of the twentieth century. In 1950 he was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1950 for his extensive contributions to world literature and for his "rationality and humanity, as a fearless champion of free speech and free thought in the West."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Wade Finger on February 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
Bertrand Russell's Power is very ambitious in scope. Support for his thesis that the taming of power should be of chief concern to thinking people (his favorite audience in the three Russell books I've read) includes support from references to ancient China, medieval Europe, Machiavelli, the American businessman, the rise of the Catholic Church, American reverence for the Constitution, causes of the Protestant Reformation, ancient Greece and Rome and their governments, and more. As is to be expected of Lord Russell, his writing is an edifying, entertaining glimpse into the mind of a genius.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harold E. Quillin on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All I have read by Bertrand Russell is wonderful and this is no exception. Although written years ago seem up-to-date and Powerful (pun) and his views on how powers were being considlated was on the mark in my opinion. Not since THE PRINCE have I read anything that even comes close to explaining everything I wanted to know about POWER. HarOLD
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By incite on February 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You can get a pretty clear idea of what this book is like by reading the other reviews. The only thing I'll add is this: Don't be intimidated by Russell's status as a philosopher. If you are interested in this book, read it. I thought it would be challenging, maybe even too demanding for me, but it was surprisingly easy to read. You don't need to be an intellectual to understand it.
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By Gordon McQueen on January 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 lot, and Russell's beautiful prose convincingly weaves together the various types of power to give a powerful theory indeed, all backed up with brilliantly concise historical example. Read it as a history lesson alone in fact. This is a great book.
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