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The Making of the Modern Mind: A Survey of the Intellectual Background of the Present Age 50th Anniversary ed. Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231041430
ISBN-10: 0231041438
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Randall was one of the great American minds of the 20th century, and this was his classic textbook written for Columbia's contemporary civilization course. First published in 1926 and last revised in 1940, this is another book that Gress sees as an example of the Grand Narrative, but as he points out, it was "brilliantly learned and well written." It thus still serves as a solid introduction to the history of ideas for undergraduates and adults.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

John Herman Randall, Jr., is Frederick J. E. Woodbridge Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Columbia University. He is the author of many works in philosophy and intellectual history, among them Aristotle, The Career of Philosophy, Vols. I and II, How Philosophy Uses its Past, Nature and Historical Experience and Philosophy After Darwin: Chapters for The Career of Philosophy, Volume III, and Other Essays, all published by Columbia University Press.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; 50th Anniversary ed. edition (November 22, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231041438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231041430
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Randall's book, written in 1940 as a college survey textbook, is a remarkable Eurocentric history, not only for its breadth of knowledge and depth of analysis. By freely expressing his opinions, the author enlivens the narrative, but his opinions are so judicious and even-handed that he never alienates the reader. He turns the history that I learned in school upside-down; here there are no warriors or kings to leave their mark, but rather the philosophers and the scientists create new vistas, and those creations that further the enrichment of the pre-WW II middle class endure. A warning: Randall presupposes in the reader a liberal familiarity with history, philosophy, and literature that probably very few college students of the 1990s have attained. A bonus of the book, though, is the mellifluous prose and the exquisite analogies, the best that I've read in a history since Gibbon. For example, the Old Testament "is a stern and austere code, more ready to burst into the flame of indignation than the warm glow of love." (page 42)
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Format: Paperback
A wonderfully eloquant review of the "modern" mind's evolution from its barbarous Judeo-Christian beginnings up until the industrial age. Makes powerful arguments for science's positive efffects upon man(as well as being historically and technically acurate), as well as questioning the negative effect it has had on man's morals and reason. A good read for someone out there lost amidst the multimedia education of hyperactive universities, just looking for a articulate lesson in man's chaotic growth. If you can find the time to read all seven hundred pages, do so at all costs.
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Format: Paperback
Amazing! There's no better way to describe it. Of the five books composing this volume, four are absolutely superb. The fifth misses only in the sense that it was written 60 years ago. Were Randall writing today, that part would be much modified and probably expanded into a sixth book.

There are prerequisites for reading this work, the main one being considerable knowledge of Western History from the 13th Century onwards. For those who have that knowledge already, then this book is a marvelous adventure--thoughful, insightful and truly an intriguing explanation for why we are what we are today.
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