Intolerance and bigotry lie at the heart of all human suffering. So claims Bertrand Russell at the outset of In Praise of Idleness, a collection of essays in which he espouses the virtues of cool reflection and free enquiry; a voice of calm in a world of maddening unreason. From a devastating critique of the ancestry of fascism to a vehement defence of 'useless' knowledge, with consideration given to everything from insect pests to the human soul, this is a tour de force that only Bertrand Russell could perform.
'A book full of rich, stimulative thought, with plenty of scope for disagreement.' - The Guardian
'Invariably intelligent, stimulating and lucid.' - The Listener
'There is not … a page which does not provoke argument or thought.' - The Sunday Times
1. In Praise of Idleness 2. 'Useless' Knowledge 3. Architecture and Social Questions 4. The Modern Midas 5. The Ancestry of Fascism 6. Scylla and Charybdis, or Communism and Fascism 7. The Case for Socialism 8. Western Civilisation 9. On Youthful Cynicism 10. Modern Homogeneity 11. Men versus Insects 12. Education and Discipline 13. Stoicism and Mental Health 14. On Comets 15. What is the Soul?