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The Labyrinth in Culture and Society: Pathways to Wisdom Paperback – March 22, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books (March 22, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556432658
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556432651
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,830,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"By turns unsettling and exhilarating, Attali is always scintillating, always crackling with creative intelligence. He hast hings to teach us all. Especially Americans."
—Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock

"Jackques Attali is a unique figure: an intellectual in the world of politics, and individualist in the world of high finance, a visionary and a dreamer."
—Walter Russell Mead, author of Moral Splendor: The American Empire in Transition

About the Author

Jacques Attali was born in Algiers in 1943. A novelist, essayist, and writer, he served as special adviser to French President Francois Mitterrand from 1981 to 1991. Dr. Attali is now chairman of A&A, an international consulting firm based in Paris. Recently, he also served as conseiller d'Etat in Paris, and has advised the United Nations General Secretary on nuclear proliferation. His works in English include: Millennium: Winners and Losers in the Coming World Order; A Man of Influence Career of S.G. Warburg; and Noise: Essay on the Political Economy of Music.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was pleased to discover this book was an easy read. Though it posits some complex interpretations of the labyrinth, Attali's ideas come alive in his strong, lucid prose. The book is chock full of physical and symbolic labyrinths of the past and present. I especially liked his references to nomadic cultures. An enjoyable book.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Delphine Levy (dplevy@mail.med.cornell.edu) on July 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is probably the best way to start with the study of the multiple significations and applications of this ancient labyrinth science. Full of very good references, and stangely enlightened insights. Two flaws however: often stays at the surface of an idea, sometimes gets a little carried away. That's why it's more of an introduction than a true reference book. My advice: read this book and then go to Grace Cathedral in San Fransisco walk the labyrinth.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arseniy Kozlov on June 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"As we are in the process of entering into the new age of rapid change and informational battlefield or what Jacques Attali dubs as the "virtual nomadism", there is an emergence of a dire need for a new type of thinking. The intellectual clique in the West is drifting away from the linear approach to the gradual acceptance of more convoluted modes of reasoning, coupled with the increased interest in a labyrinthine thinking and cognitive complexities. Who better than Dr. Attali can prepare us for the strange future that is lurking around the corner, to help us solidify the new realities on the firm basis of the ancient pathways to wisdom.

The Western consumerist society for far too long has been based on the unsustainable premises of endless and overindulging consumption driven by the desire for instant gratification, which inadvertently overshadowed the infinite treasure hidden deep within ourselves. Those who dare to survive in the current social transformation must embrace certain ideals in the form of nonlinear thinking and multi-tasking intellectual initiatives.

The Hollywood blockbuster movie Inception (2010) will serve as a visual aid in the author's hunt for the new spiritual meanings and intellectual techniques that will become useful in the journey to the center of many social labyrinths that we inhabit. The task can be achieved via understanding of ourselves. Inception shall be examined through the prism of Dr. Attali's intellectual brilliance on the topic of labyrinths and the concept of the new nomadic man, because that movie has all the earmarks of the classical labyrinthine structure, where the easiest and the shortest path is not always the correct one. Ultimately the meandering paths of the labyrinth can teach us about our inner beings and prepare us for a more nomadic and less sedentary world of tomorrow." (Taken from: [...])
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