- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: A Mentor Book/Published by The New American Library; 1st Printing April 1950 edition (1950)
- ASIN: B0029O4AS8
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,104,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Revolt Of The Masses
"My Father, the Pornographer" by Fang Lizhi
A son tries to understand his late father, by reading the 400-plus novels left to him in his father's will. Check out "My Father, the Pornographer".
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Top Customer Reviews
But one could argue that however effective his argument, Ortega y Gasset, a Spaniard, was in perfect position to critique fascism and its foibles, being able to observe it from a closer perspective than others. After all, the war for men's hearts and minds was fought out in no small part on Spanish soil in the '30s.
Ortega y Gasset was also not alone in critiquing the rise of mass man, which is the book's major point. Joseph Wood Krutch, for example, in "The Modern Temper" (an excellent companion to this book) had pointed out that the emergence of mass society and the development of technology had stripped away Man's sustaining illusions, at great cost.
"The Revolt of the Masses" decries the leveling of society that the author observes, and the reader is at first made uncomfortable by the argument. I found myself mentally attacking Ortega y Gasset's elitism. I nearly concluded that the book was simply an apologia for an anti-democratic bias and for those who would protect political power from seizure by the common man.Read more ›
It seems that there have been a couple of different interpretations of this book by reviewers. Some have pointed to Ortega's elitism and contempt for mass-man as a sign of him being anti-democratic. And this certainly seems like a logical conclusion except for the fact that Ortega himself asserts that a liberal democracy is the ideal form of government! I was somewhat puzzled by this seemingly contradictory pronouncement myself. It seems to me that democracy inevitably leads to rule by the mass-man. After all, democracy literally means "rule by the people." Nevertheless, on page 76, Ortega writes:
"The political doctrine which has represented the loftiest endeavour towards common life is liberal democracy. It carries to the extreme the determination to have consideration for one's neighbor and is the prototype of 'indirect action.Read more ›
This book also contains a lot of commentary on the nature of mass man. For example: "the commonplace mind, knowing itself to be commonplace, has the assurance to proclaim the rights of the commonplace and to impose them wherever it will." In the 21st century, where "The Simpsons" are vastly popular, and it is suddenly fashionable to deny the very idea that a man should want to be a gentleman, the words ring true.
What is more interesting, perhaps, is to speculate on how the newly-arrived "mass man" went about the pursuit of political power. But that would be another book entirely.
This book, along with other fundamental books like "Human Action," should be a part of every thinking person's education. Of course, right now it's NOT, but I think we all have a pretty good idea why not.
Highest possible recommendation!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a far far better translation than any other, cf. the Norton edition. This essay present the argument of the relevance of the book today. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sun_Zeneise
This is a book that I first read somewhere about 1950. It impressed me then for its insights. My rereading of it in 2015 serves to confirm this and truly surprised me at how well... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Old Soldier
For a conservative he strikes me as a European Unionist. He decries youth's lack of morals, the masses lack of morals, and Europe's lack of direction or determined action. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mark K. Rempel
I first read this book in 1953 when I was nineteen years old. It told me everything I wanted to know about the specter of "hyper-democracy. Read morePublished 8 months ago by alicia k zeiter
José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) was a Spanish philosopher, who also wrote books like An Interpretation of Universal History, History as a System and Other Essays Toward a... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Steven H Propp
The translation of this book s hard to read. I gave up after a few chapters. Anyone want to buy this book...cheap?Published 20 months ago by Jeff Lehman