3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2011
With all their contributions to modern thought and society, the four thinkers that the book confronts, albeit fictionally, would probably be horrified at some of the practical results of their philosophies. The strict naturalism they proposed--whether in the form of natural selection based on the survival of the fittest, or the idolatry of the superhero, or even the laying of man's offerings before the altar of the subconscious--would become the underpinning of totalitarian regimes such Nazism and Communism. This book attempts, and more often than not succeeds, in making the connection between these four nineteenth philosophers and their disturbing twentieth century impact. It exposes as well various flaws in their thought, brought to light by advances in science and psychology. Through the minds of the protagonists of four stories, we dicover the glaring horror of these practical applications. The book is not easy to read, and it will not be satisfying for those who have already decided that their idols, these four thinkers, cannot be said to have clay feet or capable of reconsideration. In addition, readers who are not open to beauty in its purest form, alien to much of modern civilization, may not be open to what this writer wishes to unveil. At the end, though, the pungent irony and humor of the prose sustains the book--and I found it to be a valuable, intelligent addition to the conversation.
5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2011
So, I'm not usually a "review kinda guy", I just don't care enough. I usually like to leave that up to the professionals (If you consider critics as such and all). I bought this book by accident, intending to buy Darwin's Black Box, however, I paid for it and figured I'd give it a shot. This is complete and utter junk. The author tries to make his point by using fictional short stories. The characters in these stories encounter or discuss his ideas. Though the ideas in the book are opposite of my own, I love a good argument for the other side. I would've been fine if the book at least made me angry. The only emotion i felt was regret that I'd just wasted 5 hours of my life on this joke of a book. Don't waste your time, money or precious intellect on this book. I think I may be dumber for having done so!