*Worldly Philosopher*

The author is Jeremy Adelman and the subtitle is The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman.  This is the book I have looked forward to most all year and so far (p.153) it does not disappoint.  Here is one excerpt:

If there was one author who captured Hirschmann’s imagination, it was Michel de Montaigne.  The highly personal vignettes, meditations, and moral reflections shook Hirschmann to his core.  He immediately grasped the power of the essays — Montaigne questioned absolute forms of knowledge by submitting everything to the interrogating eye of the observer, starting by looking at himself, turning himself over and over to capture the multiple points of perspective or the multiple forms of the self.  “We are never ‘at home’: we are always outside ourselves,” Montaigne wrote.  “Whoever would do what he has to do would see that the first thing he must learn to know is what he is.”

I am pleased that this book has 740 pages and I am wishing for more.  Here is a WSJ review.  Here is a good UK review.  Here is a review from The Economist.


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