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St. Augustine in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series) Paperback – April 1, 1997


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St. Augustine in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series) + Thomas Aquinas in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series) + Socrates in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series
  • Paperback: 89 pages
  • Publisher: Ivan R. Dee (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566631505
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566631501
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #866,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them...I find them hard to stop reading. (Richard Bernstein The New York Times)

Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise. (Jim Holt The Wall Street Journal)

Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character...I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one's friends to Western civilization. (Katherine A. Powers The Boston Globe)

A godsend in this era of the short attention span. (Daryl Royster Alexander The New York Times)

About the Author

Paul Strathern is author of the popular and critically acclaimed Philosophers in 90 Minutes series. Highlights from the series include Nietzsche in 90 Minutes, Aristotle in 90 Minutes, and Plato in 90 Minutes. Mr. Strathern has lectured in philosophy and mathematics and now lives and writes in London. A former Somerset Maugham prize winner, he is also the author of books on history and travel as well as five novels. His articles have appeared in a great many newspapers, including the Observer (London) and the Irish Times. His own degree in philosophy came from Trinity College, Dublin.

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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By August747@aol.com on August 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Strathern is a master at this kind of work, which mixes biography, critical analysis, historical context and humor all in a concise, informative & entertaining package. He lists a time line for the philosopher, his place in world/philosophic history & a selection of works for furthur reading. This series of books by Strathern is a wonderful course in Philosophy 101 without ever having to go to college, all presented in plain, easy to understand English without being bogged down with philosophy's often confusing vernacular. If you are expecting an in-depth review or complete analysis of the philosopher's life & work, read another book. This is meant to be a quick, concise overview & that's just what it provides.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
St. Augustine is a subject that cannot be covered in 90 minutes, particularly in under 100 pages with large font. Still, this book serves as a great introduction for those who have ABSOLUTELY NO knowledge of the great philosopher.
If you're only looking for a brief thumbnail sketch of Augustine, or want to know the basic reasons (without details) why he's considered important, then this book will serve you well. If you're looking for details on his life, his theology, or philosophy, you'll have to look elsewhere.
It's important to realize that this book comes at Augustine from a philosophical perspective, not a theological or religious one. It aims to outline why he's considered important to the field of philosophy. So, if you're interested in Augustine's theology or importance from the standpoint of the Catholic church, you'll find almost nothing useful here (in fact, some of it may offend you depending upon your religious bent).
What does this book teach about Augustine? It can be summed up quickly: Augustine brought together the thought of Neoplatonism and Christian scripture, thus preserving philosophy for about 800 years (until Thomas Aquinas took it further in the 13th century); he had troubles with lust; his mother was overbearing; he liked to flagellate himself in his books; he had some interesting ideas how procreation worked in the Garden of Eden. There are a few more facts, but those are the main ones. It is a fun read; it's humorous in places (again, depending upon your background) and you will leave the book with an appreciation of who he was. Other considerably more bulky books will have to flesh out the inevitable nagging questions that this one will leave you with.
Augustine is a towering figure in western philosophy. His work presages Descartes, Kant, and others. He deserves a higher stature than he currently enjoys, but this book will only give you a tiny eency weency snippet of the reasons why.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on March 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Having read about a dozen or so of the "Philosphers in 90 Minutes" series, I was interested in what Strathern would have to say about the philospher/theologian St. Augustine. What Strathern had to say was basically that he doesn't think much of St. Augustine.

Too much sympathy is as deadly to objectivity as too much antipathy, but a modicum of sympathy is conducive to objectivity. Any degree of antipathy, on the other hand, tends toward the detriment of objectivity. Strathern may not be rabidly anti-Augustine, but it's clear that Strathern doesn't like him. The book reads like an insult comic's routine aimed at its subject.

Strathern's antipathy may not just be against St. Augustine in particular, but saintly theologians in general, as he does a similar hatchet job in "Thomas Aquinas in 90 Minutes." Maybe Strathern should confine himself to writing about philosphers and let someone else write about theologians. The reader would probably be better served by reading "St. Augustine for Armchair Theologians."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Johannes Platonicus on February 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Paul Strathern's concise overview of St Augustine's life, thought, and influence upon the world will be an invaluable introduction for anyone seeking to begin a study of the man whose doctrines and aspirations changed the face of Christendom. Strathern sets the stage by discussing some of the various philosophies prevalent in the Roman world during St Augustine's time and constructs a quick run-over of Augustine's battle with sin, struggle with the problem of Evil, and final journey to truth. Augustine's epic and exhaustive conflicts with heresy in order to edify and preserve the tenets of Catholic doctrine will be found here as well. Finally, Strathern closes this sharp, to the point work, with a succinct survey of some of the later Christian philosophers up until St Thomas Aquinas and the downfall of the Platonist tradition. This work serves its purpose well; even average readers will be finished and find much useful information at their leisure in at the least thirty minutes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric John on February 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Am I missing something here? Is the title of this book not 'St. Augustine in 90 min'?

I dont understand people that pick up a book with a title like this and then complain on Amazon because of 'too little information'(see below).

I knew very little of St Aug. when I started this book because most of the books out there read like volumous engineering manuals.

This book is informative and witty and now I cant wait to read more on St. Aug.

Thank you Mr. Strathern; Mission accomplished.
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