By Bertrand Russell, Ray Perkins Jr.
"Bertrand Russell was one of the twentieth century's greatest philosophers. His astonishingly productive life spanned nearly a hundred years (1872-1970) and his contributions to global thought - in philosophy, science, mathematics, politics, education, and literature - are prodigious. Yet Russell was more than a great intellect; he was also a political animal. From the beginning of his long professional life he emphasized the importance of practice as well as theory. He was twice imprisoned by the British government for his political utterances. With his razor-sharp irony and morally impassioned rhetoric, Russell took on the forces of injustice, ignorance, and cruelty; one of his chief weapons was the letter to the editor. Russell wrote approximately 400 letters to the editor, of which three-quarters are reproduced in this volume. He often repeated arguments in several letters; the ones collected here include virtually every substantive argument he ever made in a letter to the editor. The letters give us a clear vision of Russell as public gadfly, exposing the unreason of our rulers, and defending human happiness against the evils of the day, including British conscription in World War I, Fascism in the 1930s, McCarthyism in the 1950s, and the peril of nuclear annihilation throughout the Cold War." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved