A devastating critique of modern left-wing thinking from a leading political philosopher.
In Fools, Frauds and Firebrands, philosopher Roger Scruton, one of the leading critics of leftist orientations in modern Western civilization, examines the thinkers who have been most influential on the attitudes of the New Left. What does the Left look like today, he asks, and how has it evolved? Is there any foundation for resistance to its agenda without religious faith?
Scruton begins with a ruthless analysis of New Leftism and concludes with a critique of the key strands in its thinking. He conducts a reappraisal of such major left-wing thinkers as: E. P. Thompson, Ronald Dworkin, R. D. Laing, Jurgen Habermas, Gyorgy Lukacs, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Slavoj Zizek, Ralph Milliband and Eric Hobsbawm.
Scruton's exploration of these important issues is written with skill, perception and at all times with pellucid clarity. In addition to assessments of these thinkers' philosophical and political contributions, the book contains a biographical and bibliographical section summarizing their careers and most important writings.
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About the Author
Professor Roger Scruton is a graduate of Jesus College, Cambridge. He has been a professor at Birkbeck College, London, and Boston University. He is currently visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford and Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington DC. He has published novels and has written and composed two operas. He writes regularly for the Times, the Telegraph, the Spectator and was for many years the wine critic of the New Statesman.
Table of Contents
1 What is Left? / 2 Resentment in Britain: Hobsbawm and Thompson / 3 Disdain in America: Galbraith and Dworkin / 4 Liberation in France: Sartre and Foucault / 5 Tedium in Germany: Downhill to Habermas /6 Nonsense in Paris: Althusser, Lacan and Deleuze / 7 Culture Wars Worldwide: The New Left from Gramsci to Said / 8 The Kraken Wakes: Badiou and Žižek /9 What is Right?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Clear and concise. This book is written for an educated audience, but not necessarily for an audience of academics. That said, if you have no background in philosophy or political theory, you may have to take your time reading this.
Unless you have a Ph.D. in philosophy or political science, this is not for you. It is extremely difficult reading and is clearly not for the average reader. I could give some examples of his prose that would make your head spin, but it is just too tiresome.