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Bertrand Russell : the ghost of madness, 1921-1970

Author: Ray Monk
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2001.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : English : 1st Free Press edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In the second half of his life, Bertrand Russell transformed himself from a major philosopher, whose work was intelligible to a small elite, into a political activist and popular writer, known to millions throughout the world. Yet his life is the tragic story of a man who believed in a modern, rational approach to life and who, though his ideas guided popular opinion throughout the twentieth century, lost  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Monk, Ray.
Bertrand Russell.
New York : Free Press, 2001
(OCoLC)647628141
Named Person: Bertrand Russell
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Ray Monk
ISBN: 0743212150 9780743212151
OCLC Number: 45325537
Description: xiv, 574 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
Contents: 1. Fallen Angel: Russell at Forty-Nine --
2. Moral Training in the Waste Land --
3. How to be Free and Happy --
4. The New Morality --
5. Divorce --
6. Forward to the Past --
7. Back to Philosophy --
8. Russell in America --
9. The Bomb Goes Off --
10. 41 Queen's Road --
11. 'Remember Your Humanity and Forget the Rest' --
12. Russell's Viper --
13. The Guevarist Years --
14. The Final Visitation
Responsibility: Ray Monk.
More information:

Abstract:

In the second half of his life, Bertrand Russell transformed himself from a major philosopher, whose work was intelligible to a small elite, into a political activist and popular writer, known to millions throughout the world. Yet his life is the tragic story of a man who believed in a modern, rational approach to life and who, though his ideas guided popular opinion throughout the twentieth century, lost everything. Russell's views on marriage, religion, education, and politics attracted legions of devoted followers and, at the same time, provoked harsh attacks from every direction. On the one hand, he was stripped of his post at New York's City College because he was thought to be a bad influence on his students, and on the other, he was awarded the Order of Merit, the Nobel Prize in literature, and a lifetime Fellowship of Trinity College, Cambridge. He lived to be ninety-seven, and as he became older he became increasingly controversial. Monk quotes Russell's telegrams to Kennedy and Khrushchev during the Cuban missile crisis, an influence that Russell and his followers believed tipped the balance toward peace. Russell devoted his last years to a campaign organized by his secretary to lend support to Che Guevara's call for a globally coordinated revolutionary struggle against "U.S. imperialism." Until now, this last campaign has been misunderstood as a -- perhaps misguided, but nevertheless innocent -- plea for world peace. Monk reveals it was no such thing. Drawing on thousands of documents collected at the Russell archives in Canada, Monk steers through the turbulence of Russell's public activities, scrutinizing his sometimes paradoxical and often outrageous pronouncements. Monk's focus, however, is on the tragedy of Russell's personal life, and in revealing this inner drama Monk has relied heavily on the cooperation of Russell's surviving relatives and access to previously unexamined legal and private correspondence. A central player in Russell's life was his first son, John. Russell applied the methods of the new science of child psychology in his parenting, believing that a new generation of children could be reared to be "independent, fearless, and free." But instead of being a model of this new generation, John became anxious, withdrawn, and eventually schizophrenic. Nor was John's daughter Lucy (who was Russell's favorite grandchild) to be a model of the new generation gradually she grew so emotionally disturbed that, at the age of twenty-six, she took her own life.

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"The Sunday Telegraph" In its seriousness, its intelligence, and sheer narrative drive, one of the outstanding biographies of our time.

 
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