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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reason, April 19, 2012
This review is from: The Spinoza Problem: A Novel (Hardcover)
It's rare to find a historical novel that links two time periods effectively, while retaining the complexity and depth of each. Such a rare find is Irvin Yalom's latest novel, The Spinoza Problem. There are two protagonists: philosopher Bento Spinoza in 17th century Holland, and Alfred Rosenberg in Nazi Germany. The Spinoza problem is raised out of Rosenberg's anti-Semitic perspective: how could this Jew from Amsterdam have written works revered by Goethe, the greatest of German thinkers? Yalom uses the fictional Rosenberg to illuminate the philosophy of Spinoza and provide an entertaining way of learning to those readers who enjoy historical fiction.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 31, 2012 8:38:26 AM PST
Skye Hye says:
I thought his first name was Baruch, not Bento.

Posted on Mar 1, 2016 12:42:26 AM PST
Knowing almost nothing at all about Spinoza and his life but knowing a lot about Rosenberg (I read the quite good biography of him by Lord Robert Cecil), I endorse Mr. Hopkins's review. I found the book informative and intellectually quite appealing. It's not a book for everyone but it is a fine book for those interested in this philosophical juxtaposition that is its centerpiece.
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Location: Oak Park, Illinois

Top Reviewer Ranking: 6,210