The House of Wittgenstein
A Family at War
1st Edition Paperback ISBN: 0307278727
The House of Wittgenstein is the grand saga of a brilliant and tragic Viennese family whose members included a famous philosopher and the world's greatest one-handed classical pianist. The Wittgenstein family was one of the wealthiest, most talented, and most eccentric in European history, held together by a fanatical love of music yet torn apart by money, madness, conflicts of loyalty, and the upheaval of two world wars. Of the eight children, three committed suicide; Paul lost an arm in the war and yet stubbornly pursued a musical career; and Ludwig, the odd youngest son, is now regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. Alexander Waugh, author of the acclaimed memoir Fathers and Sons and himself the offspring of a famous and eccentric family, tells their baroque tale with a novelistic richness to rival Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks.
The Age of Conversation
Paperback ISBN: 1590172140
Now in paperback, an award-winning look at French salons and the women who presided over them In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, between the reign of Louis XIII and the Revolution, French aristocratic society developed an art of living based on a refined code of good manners. Conversation, which began as a way of passing time, eventually became the central ritual of social life. In the salons, freed from the rigidity of court life, it was women who dictated the rules and presided over exchanges among socialites, writers, theologians, and statesmen. They contributed decisively to the development of the modern French language, new literary forms, and debates over philosophical and scientific ideas. With a cast of characters both famous and unknown, ranging from the Marquise de Rambouillet to Madame de Sta‘l, and including figures like Ninon de Lenclos, the Marquise de Sevigne, and Madame de Lafayette, as well as Pascal, La Rochefoucauld, Diderot, and Voltaire, Benedetta Craveri traces the history of this worldly society that carried the art of sociability to its supreme perfection–and ultimately helped bring on the Revolution that swept it all away.
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier
Paperback ISBN: 0375758623
An American expatriate living in the City of Light provides an intimate portrait of the habituTs of a quaint shop in his Paris neighborhood, where an intriguing array of locals from all walks of life gather to discuss music, love, and life over a glass of wine, surrounded by the pianos that the owner restores. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.
The Crisis of the European Mind
Paperback ISBN: 1590176197
Paul Hazard was one of the master historians of the twentieth century, and The Crisis of the European Mind is by common consent his masterwork, an ambitious study in intellectual history whose breadth of learning and authority is widely acknowledged to this day. The period from 1680 to 1715 was a turning point in Western history: the beginning of an intellectual revolution that would lead to the Enlightenment and beyond that to romanticism. With clarity as well as a sharp eye for historical detail, Hazard depicts the progressive erosion of the respect for tradition, stability, proportion, and settled usage that had characterized classicism. He shows how a new awareness of the countries beyond Europe encouraged a fresh critical re-evaluation of European institutions and how the growth of modern science and scientific method threatened the accepted intellectual order, while also prompting prosecution of free inquiry. Hazard goes on to consider the situation of the new thinkers who confronted this turbulent world, from Locke, who sought the foundations of reality in sensation and so paved the way for Rousseau, to Bayle, the Huguenot exile whose great dictionary taught Voltaire and his generation that morality could be separated from religion. Throughout, Hazard conveys the excitement of a revolution, the impact of which continues to be felt in our own time.
The Crooked Timber of Humanity
Chapters in the History of Ideas
2nd Edition Paperback ISBN: 0691155933
"Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made."--Immanuel Kant Isaiah Berlin was one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century--an activist of the intellect who marshaled vast erudition and eloquence in defense of the endangered values of individual liberty and moral and political pluralism. In The Crooked Timber of Humanity, he exposes the links between the ideas of the past and the social and political cataclysms of our own time: between the Platonic belief in absolute truth and the lure of authoritarianism; between the eighteenth-century reactionary ideologue Joseph de Maistre and twentieth-century Fascism; between the romanticism of Schiller and Byron and the militant--and sometimes genocidal--nationalism that convulses the modern world. This new edition features a corrected text that supplants all previous versions, additional references, a new foreword in which award-winning novelist John Banville discusses Berlin's life and ideas, particularly his defense of pluralism, and a substantial new appendix that provides rich context, including letters by Berlin and some previously uncollected writings, most notably his virtuoso review of Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy.