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This unconventional history justifies Jeffrey Toobin's description of it as "[a] compelling intellectual detective story, one that illuminates the present as much as the dusty past."
On a frigid February day in 1650, René Descartes was buried in the frozen ground of Stockholm, far from his French homeland. Sixteen years later, a French government official surreptitiously unearthed the philosopher's remains and returned them to the country of his birth. That, however, was only the beginning of the posthumous journeys of the man know as the Father of Philosophy. In this refreshingly heterodox history, Russell Shorto follows Descartes' bones over three centuries and six countries, showing how the battle over his body and most especially his skull exemplifies a far more significant war between faith and reason. Descartes' Bones deserves to be read by anyone who ever puzzled over mind/body problems.