First published in 1961, Fact and Fiction is a collection of Bertrand Russell’s essays that reflect on the books and writings that influenced his life, including fiction, essays on politics and education, divertissements and parables. Also broaching on the highly controversial issues of war and peace, it is in this classic collection that Russell states some of his most famous pronouncements on nuclear warfare and international relations. It is a remarkable book that provides valuable insight into the range of interests and depth of convictions of one of the world’s greatest philosophers.
‘The most critical of readers could hardly fail to be captivated by the literary and dialectical skill of the author.’ – Times Literary Supplement
‘…an attractive haul of small bright items…’ – The Observer
‘Bertrand Russell…again wakes us from sleep with the rapier of his polemicists…’ – American Statesman
Introduction Part 1: Books that Influenced Me in Youth I. The Importance of Shelly II. The Romance of Revolt III. Revolt Against the Abstract IV. Disgust and Its Antidote V. An Education in History VI. The Pursuit of Truth Part 2: Politics and Education I. What is Freedom? II. What is Democracy? III. A Scientist’s Plea for Democracy? IV. The Story of Colonization V. Pros and Cons of Nationalism VI. The Reasoning Europeans VII. The World I Should Like to Live in VIII. Old and Young Cultures IX. Education for a Difficult World X. University Education Part 3: Divertissments I. Cranks II. The Right Will Prevail or the Road to Lhasa III. Newly Discovered Maxims of La Rochefoucauld IV. Nightmares 1. The Fisherman’s Nightmare or Magna est Veritas 2. The Theologian’s Nightmare V. Dreams 1. Jowett 2. God 3. Henry the Navigator 4. Prince Napoleon Louis 5. The Catalogue VI. Parables 1. Planetary Effulgence 2. The Misfortune of Being Out-of-Date 3. Murderers’ Fatherland Part 4: Peace and War I. Psychology and East-West Tension II. War and Peace in My Lifetime III. The Social Responsiblities of Scientists IV. Three Essentials for a Stable World V. Population Pressure and War VI. Vienna Address VII. Manchester Address VIII. What Neutrals can do to Save the World IX. The Case for British Neutralism X. Can War be Abolished? XI. Human Life is in Danger Index