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Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left Paperback – International Edition, 8 September 2016

4.6 out of 5 stars 362 ratings

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Paperback, International Edition, 8 September 2016
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Product description

Review

Eminent British philosopher and polymath Scruton gives a sharp-edged, provocative critique of leading leftist thinkers since the mid-twentieth century ... complex and erudite (Publisher's Weekly US)

Caustic, highly recherché, and simply great fun to read for the questing intellectual soul. (Kirkus Reviews)

From the standpoint of a serious conservatism, it honestly assesses the political and philosophical contributions of the Left. The book also addresses what is likely our most pressing question: 'Can there be any foundation for resistance to the leftist agenda without religious faith?' (Catholic World Report)

Since he no longer has a university career to protect, Scruton can now tweak the nose of academic leftism to his heart's content. Scruton is at his best, (and funniest) when trying to make sense of [Alain] Badiou's weird confection historical materialism and Platonic mathematical theory (Jonathan Derbyshire Prospect)

The book is a masterpiece ... In crisp, sometimes brilliant prose, Mr. Scruton considers scores of works in three languages, giving the reader an understanding of each thinker's overarching aim and his place within the multifaceted movement known as the New Left. He neither ridicules nor abuses the writers he considers; he patiently deconstructs them, first explaining their work in terms they themselves would recognize and then laying bare their warped assumptions and empty pretensions. (Barton Swaim Wall Street Journal)

I enjoyed this immensely, both for Scruton's dry, British wit as well as for the sheer breadth of intellectuals covered in his survey (Against the Grain Blog)

Highly recommended (Powerline US Blog)

Here Scruton thoroughly and fairly debunks the ostentation, obfuscation, and terrible writing and downright deceitfulness of much of postwar Marxist-inspired philosophy. For Scruton the culprits are mainly from France and Germany-beginning with Sartre and carrying through to Foucault, Habermas, Althusser, Lacan, Deleuze, Gramsci, and Said-and he carries the attack forward to Badiou and Zizek. Even Galbraith and Dworkin take a few hits. Scruton writes from the perspective of an old-school conservative. His sympathies are with the virtues of the countryside and historically rooted associations of every sort, from churches and the US Constitution to volunteer fire departments, brass bands, and the local Grange. His personal point of view could be called sentimental . but his arguments against his foes are substantial and deep. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. (CHOICE)

Book Description

What does the Left look like today and how has it evolved? Is there any foundation for resistance to its agenda without religious faith?

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 1472935950
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bloomsbury Continuum; 1st edition (8 September 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9781472935953
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1472935953
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.64 x 2.31 x 21.34 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 362 ratings

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2.0 out of 5 stars Audiobook like a long car journey with a particularly shouty Daily Mail reader
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 November 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars A work of imminent importance
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good in some parts, lacking comprehension in others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A question of balance
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