Year published: 2016
Date I finished the book: September 16, 2016
Genre: History, philosophy
Review: Dr. Smith is clearly an intelligent and very well-read man and an expert
on what he talks about. However, this reads more like a collection of
essays than a book. Nearly all of the book (except for a short
introduction and a very short conclusion) consists of chapters about
individual thinkers, from Machiavelli to Hegel, from Rousseau to Saul
Bellow. Each chapter is fine; well written, informative and so on.
until we read the conclusion, it's not really clear what Smith's point
is. Nor is it clear why he chose the writers that he did. Some are
obvious: Machiavelli, Kant, Hobbes. But why Saul Bellow? Why and entire
chapter on The Leopard?