Searching for: "Paul Strathern"

  • Paul Strathern

    Death in Florence illuminates one of the defining moments in Western history—the bloody and dramatic story of the battle for the soul of Renaissance Florence. By the end of the fifteenth century, Florence was well established as the home of the Renaissance. As generous patrons to the likes of Botticelli and Michelangelo, the ruling Medici embodied the progressive humanist spirit of the age, and in Lorenzo de’ Medici (Lorenzo the Magnificent) they possessed a diplomat capable of guarding the militarily weak city in a climate of constantly shifting allegiances between the major Italian powers. However, in the form of Savonarola, an unprepossessing provincial monk, Lorenzo found his...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    Aristotle wrote on everything from the shape of seashells to sterility, from speculations on the nature of the soul to meteorology, poetry, art, and even the interpretation of dreams. Apart from mathematics, he transformed every field of knowledge that he touched. Above all, Aristotle is credited with the founding of logic. When he first divided human knowledge into separate categories, he enabled our understanding of the world to develop in a systematic fashion. In Aristotle in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Aristotle's life and ideas and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    Building on his enormously successful series of Philosophers in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern now applies his witty and incisive prose to brief biographical studies of the world's great writers. He brings their lives and ideas to life in entertaining and accessible fashion. After narrowly avoiding a firing squad when he was just twenty-eight years old, Dostoevsky never took things lightly. His great novels burst upon the European literary scene like a succession of thunderbolts. His understanding of the darker and more extreme recesses of the human mind cast a forceful light into these areas of experience. The raw psychology and passionate involvement of his books galvanized writers and...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    A dazzling new history of the world told through the ten major empires of human civilization. Eminent historian Paul Strathern opens the story of Empire with the Akkadian civilization, which ruled over a vast expanse of the region of ancient Mesopotamia, then turns to the immense Roman Empire, where we trace back our Western and Eastern roots. Next the narrative describes how a great deal of Western Classical culture was developed in the Abbasid and Umayyid Caliphates. Then, while Europe was beginning to emerge from a period of cultural stagnation, it almost fell to a whirlwind invasion from the East, at which point we meet the Emperors of the Mongol Empire . . . Combining breathtaking...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    During his lifetime, Jean-Paul Sartre enjoyed unprecedented popularity for a philosopher, due partly to his role as a spokesman for existentialism—at the opportune moment when this set of ideas filled the spiritual gap left amidst the ruins of World War II. Existentialism was a philosophy of action and showed the ultimate freedom of the individual. In Sartre’s hands it became a revolt against European bourgeois values. In Sartre in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Sartre’s life and ideas and explains their influence on man’s struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Sartre’s work, a...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    A dazzling history of the modest family that rose to become one of the most powerful in Europe, The Medici is a remarkably modern story of power, money, and ambition. Against the background of an age that saw the rebirth of ancient and classical learning Paul Strathern explores the intensely dramatic rise and fall of the Medici family in Florence, as well as the Italian Renaissance which they did so much to sponsor and encourage. Interwoven into the narrative are the lives of many of the great Renaissance artists with whom the Medici had dealings, including Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Donatello, as well as scientists like Galileo and Pico della Mirandola. In his enthralling study,...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    At a moment of great discovery, one Big Idea can change the world... Newton's observations on motion, gravity and light revolutionised the world and opened up humanity's understanding of the universe. Today his work is taken for granted, but in the context of modern times, to what extent can we appreciate the 'gravity' of his theories? Newton and Gravity tells the captivating story of Newton's life as an eccentric teenager, devout Christian, paranoid recluse, arrogant genius, and obsessive alchemist.His is a captivating tale of the universe as seen through the eyes of a highly erratic yet astonishingly brilliant individual.Exceptionally told, the immeasurable impact of Newton's Big...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    At a moment of great discovery, one Big Idea can change the world...Marie Curie had one of the finest scientific minds of the twentieth century, overturning established ideas in both physics and chemistry. She had an equally profound effect in the social arena, challenging the commonly held belief that women were intellectually inferior to men. Her work influenced current cancer research and her exploration of radioactivity was groundbreaking.Curie & Radioactivity tells the captivating story of Curie's early life in which she worked as a governess to support her sister during medical school, through to her later life, as the first person ever honoured with Nobel Prizes in two different...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    At a moment of great discovery, one Big Idea can change the world... Galileo is often referred to as 'the father of modern science' and his contribution to modern psychics and astronomy, among other scientific fields, cannot be overstated. His discoveries shattered for ever humanity's ignorance about the true nature of our solar system and our place within the universe. But Galileo paid the ultimate price for his revolutionary findings, sentenced to life imprisonment and forced to renounce his work. Galileo & the Solar System brings to life all of the great man's inventions, pioneering ideas and struggles, in an easy-to-follow way. Providing a fascinating account of Galileo's life,...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    Just a century after it had begun, philosophy entered its greatest age with the appearance of Socrates, who spent so much of his time talking about philosophy on the streets of Athens that he never got around to writing anything down. His method of aggressive questioning, called dialectic, was used to cut through the palaver of his adversaries and arrive at the truth. Socrates saw the world as not accessible to our senses, only to thought. Finally charged with impiety and the corruption of youth, he was tried and sentenced to death-and ended his life by drinking the judicial hemlock. In Socrates in 90 minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Socrates' life and ideas and...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    Spinoza’s brilliant metaphysical system was derived neither from reality nor experience. Starting from basic assumptions, with a series of geometric proofs he built a universe which was also God—one and the same thing, the classic example of pantheism. Although his system seems an oddity today, Spinoza’s conclusions are deeply in accord with modern thought, from science (the holistic ethics of today’s ecologists) to politics (the idea that the state exists to protect the individual). Both Spinoza’s system and conclusions have compelling beauty unequaled in the history of philosophy. In Spinoza in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    In St. Augustine in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of St. Augustine's life and ideas and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    By the end of his life, Lawrence had despaired of Western civilization, which he felt had corrupted and weakened the human spirit. He believed that we had somehow lost touch with our instinctual being and no longer responded to the 'true voice' of our blood. We still possessed such truth deep within us, but it was smothered by a dead culture. His works were an attempt to revive a life we have lost, and in them it is possible to glimpse something vivid, something now damaged, that we nonetheless recognize in ourselves. At his best, Lawrence reminds us of what we are, what it is we have lost. But it is a very tenuous argument, for all the vividness with which it is evoked. In Lawrence, deep...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    René Descartes spent much of his life in solitude. Fortunately, these countless lonely hours helped Descartes produce the declaration that changed all philosophy: “I think, therefore I am.” Convincing himself to doubt and disregard sensory knowledge, Descartes found he could prove his existence through his thoughts alone. This internal reality, he believed, was the true reality, while the external was hopelessly deceiving. In Descartes in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Descartes’s life and ideas and explains their influence on man’s struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    García Márquez stands on the shoulders of a great Latin American literary heritage. But he is also that modern rarity, a writer with aspirations to high art who also remains hugely popular. For those who fall under his spell, his novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, is one of the richest literary dreams ever written. Its “magical realism” has influenced writers the world over. In García Márquez in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of García Márquez’s life and ideas and explains their influence on literature and on man’s struggle to understand his place in the world. The 90 Minutes series includes...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    Hegel’s dialectical method produced the most grandiose metaphysical system known to man. Its most vital element was the dialectic of the thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. This sprung from Hegel’s aim to overcome the deficiencies of logic and ascend toward Mind as the ultimate reality. His view of history as a process of humanity’s self-realization inspired Marx to synthesize his philosophy of dialectical materialism. In Hegel in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Hegel’s life and ideas and explains their influence on man’s struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Hegel’s work,...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    One of two major philosophical traditions of the twentieth century was Wittgenstein's linguistic analysis. The other, diametrically opposed, came from Heidegger, and his fundamental question: "What is the meaning of existence?" For Heidegger, this question was beyond the reach of reason and was the primary "given" of every individual life. To confront it, Heidegger needed to develop an entirely new form of philosophy. In Heidegger in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Heidegger's life and ideas and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Heidegger's work, a brief list of...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    Hume reduced philosophy to ruins: he denied the existence of everything—except our actual perceptions themselves. I alone exist, he argued, and the world is nothing more than part of my consciousness. Yet we know that the world remains, and we go on as before. What Hume expressed was the status of our knowledge about the world, a world in which neither religion nor science is certain. In Hume in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Hume’s life and ideas and explains their influence on man’s struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Hume’s work, a brief list of suggested readings for those who...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    Schopenhauer, the "philosopher of pessimism," makes it very plain that he regards the world and our life in it as a bad joke. But if the world is indifferent to our fate, it doesn't thwart us on purpose. The world's façade is supported by what Schopenhauer calls the universal Will-blind and without purpose. This Will brings on all our misery and suffering; our only hope is to liberate ourselves from its power and from the trappings of individualism and egoism that are at its mercy. In Schopenhauer in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Schopenhauer's life and ideas and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book...read more

  • Paul Strathern

    Immanuel Kant taught and wrote prolifically about physical geography yet never traveled further than forty miles from his home in Königsberg. How appropriate it is then that in his philosophy he should deny that all knowledge was derived from experience. Kant's aim was to restore metaphysics. He insisted that all experience must conform to knowledge. According to Kant, space and time are subjective; along with various "categories," they help us to see the phenomena of the world-though never its true reality. In Kant in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Kant's life and ideas and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the...read more