Intellectual History
The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War
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 Crisis of the European Mind, 1680-1715
The Crisis of the European Mind, 1680-1715
Paperback      ISBN: 1590176197

Paul Hazard's magisterial, widely influential, and beloved intellectual history offers an unforgettable account of the birth of the modern European mind in all its dynamic, inquiring, and uncertain glory. Beginning his story in the latter half of the seventeenth century, while also looking back to the Renaissance and forward to the future, Hazard traces the process by which new developments
in the sciences, arts, philosophy, and philology came to undermine the stable foundations of the classical world, with its commitment to tradition, stability, proportion, and settled usage. Hazard shows how travelers' tales and archaeological investigation widened European awareness and acceptance of cultural difference; how the radical rationalism of Spinoza and Richard Simon's new historical exegesis of the Bible called into question the revealed truths of religion; how the Huguenot Pierre Bayle's critical dictionary of ideas paved the way for Voltaire and the Enlightenment, even as the empiricism of Locke encouraged a new attention to sensory experience that led to Rousseau and romanticism. Hazard's range of knowledge is vast, and whether the subject is operas, excavations, or scientific experiments his brilliant style and powers of description bring to life the thinkers who thought up the modern world.

From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia
From the Ruins of Empire
The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia
Paperback      ISBN: 1250037719

A Financial Times and The Economist Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

A SURPRISING, GRIPPING NARRATIVE DEPICTING THE THINKERS WHOSE IDEAS SHAPED CONTEMPORARY CHINA, INDIA, AND THE MUSLIM WORLD

A little more than a century ago, independent thinkers across Asia sought to frame a distinct intellectual tradition that would inspire the continent's rise to dominance. Yet this did not come to pass, and today those thinkers--Tagore, Gandhi, and later Nehru in India; Liang Qichao and Sun Yat-sen in China; Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Abdurreshi al Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire--are seen as outsiders within the main anticolonial tradition. But as Pankaj Mishra demonstrates in this enthralling portrait of like minds, Asia's revolt against the West is not the one led by faith-fired terrorists and thwarted peasants; rather, it is rooted in the ideas of these once renowned intellectuals. Now, when the ascendency of Asia seems possible as never before, From the Ruins of Empire is as necessary as it is timely--a book indispensable to our understanding of the world and our place in it.
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier
Paperback      ISBN: 0375758623

Walking his two young children to school every morning, Thad Carhart passes an unassuming little storefront in his Paris neighborhood. Intrigued by its simple sign--Desforges Pianos--he enters, only to have his way barred by the shop's imperious owner. Unable to stifle his curiosity, he finally lands the proper introduction, and a world previously hidden is brought into view. Luc, the atelier's master, proves an indispensable guide to the history and art of the piano. Intertwined with the story of a musical friendship are reflections on how pianos work, their glorious history, and stories of the people who care for them, from amateur pianists to the craftsmen who make the mechanism sing. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank is at once a beguiling portrait of a Paris not found on any map and a tender account of the awakening of a lost childhood passion.

Praise for The Piano Shop on the Left Bank

" Carhart's] writing is fluid and lovely enough to lure the rustiest plunker back to the piano bench and the most jaded traveler back to Paris."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"Captivating . . . Carhart] joins the tiny company of foreigners who have written of the French as verbs. . . . What he tries to capture is not the sight of them, but what they see."
-The New York Times

"Thoroughly engaging . . . In part it is a book about that most unpredictable and pleasurable of human experiences, serendipity. . . . The book is also about something more difficult to pin down, friendship and community."
-The Washington Post

"Carhart writes with a sensuousness enhanced by patience and grounded by the humble acquisition of new insight into music, his childhood, and his relationship to the city of Paris."
-The New Yorker

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson
Doubt: A History
The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson
Paperback      ISBN: 0060097957

In the compelling book Doubt, a brilliant young writer and historian of ideas shows how the dialectic between faith and doubt, belief and radical questioning, religion on the one hand and philosophy and science on the other has been the driving force in intellectual and religious history.

Jennifer Hecht champions doubt and questioning as one of the great and noble, if unheralded, intellectual traditions. This is an account of the world's great intellectual virtuosos, who are also humanity's greatest doubters and disbelievers, and their attempts to reconcile the seeming randomness of the universe with the human need for meaning,

This remarkable book touches on a wealth of knowledge. Early Greek philosophy is represented, along with Eastern critical wisdom, Roman Stoicism, Jewish and Christian skeptics, medieval Islam, the rise of science, and the existantialists. Just as belief has its own history featuring people whose unique expressions of faith have forever changed the world, doubt has a vibrant story and tradition with its own saints, martyrs, and sages.

Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of award-winning books of philosophy, history, and poetry. Hecht's The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism and Anthropology (Columbia University, 2003), won the Phi Beta Kappa Society's 2004 prestigious Ralph Waldo Emerson Award. Hecht's first poetry book, The Next Ancient World won the Poetry Society of America's 2002 Norma Farber First Book Award. Her most recent poetry book, Funny, won the University of Wisconsin's 2005 Felix Pollak Poetry Prize, and Publisher's Weekly called it "one of the most original and entertaining books of the year."--Christian Century
The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics: Revised Edition
The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics
Revised Edition
Paperback      ISBN: 1681371162

European history of the past century is full of examples of philosophers, writers, and scholars who supported or excused the worst tyrannies of the age. How was this possible? How could intellectuals whose work depends on freedom defend those who would deny it?

In profiles of six leading twentieth-century thinkers--Martin Heidegger, Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, Alexandre Koj ve, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida--Mark Lilla explores the psychology of political commitment. As continental Europe gave birth to two great ideological systems in the twentieth century, communism and fascism, it also gave birth to a new social type, the philotyrannical intellectual. Lilla shows how these thinkers were not only grappling with enduring philosophical questions, they were also writing out of their own experiences and passions. These profiles demonstrate how intellectuals can be driven into a political sphere they scarcely understand, with momentous results.

In a new afterword, Lilla traces how the intellectual world has changed since the end of the cold war. The ideological passions of the past have been replaced in the West, he argues, by a dogma of individual autonomy and freedom that both obscures the historical forces at work in the present and sanctions ignorance about them, leaving us ill-equipped to understand those who are inflamed by the new global ideologies of our time.
The Age of Conversation
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 Greater Journey: Americans in Paris
The Greater Journey
Americans in Paris
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 1416571760
The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring--and until now, untold--story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.

After risking the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, these Americans embarked on a greater journey in the City of Light. Most had never left home, never experienced a different culture. None had any guarantee of success. That they achieved so much for themselves and their country profoundly altered American history. As David McCullough writes, "Not all pioneers went west." Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America, was one of this intrepid band. Another was Charles Sumner, who enrolled at the Sorbonne because of a burning desire to know more about everything. There he saw black students with the same ambition he had, and when he returned home, he would become the most powerful, unyielding voice for abolition in the U.S. Senate, almost at the cost of his life.

Two staunch friends, James Fenimore Cooper and Samuel F. B. Morse, worked unrelentingly every day in Paris, Cooper writing and Morse painting what would be his masterpiece. From something he saw in France, Morse would also bring home his momentous idea for the telegraph.

Pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk from New Orleans launched his spectacular career performing in Paris at age 15. George P. A. Healy, who had almost no money and little education, took the gamble of a lifetime and with no prospects whatsoever in Paris became one of the most celebrated portrait painters of the day. His subjects included Abraham Lincoln.

Medical student Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote home of his toil and the exhilaration in "being at the center of things" in what was then the medical capital of the world. From all they learned in Paris, Holmes and his fellow "medicals" were to exert lasting influence on the profession of medicine in the United States.

Writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James were all "discovering" Paris, marveling at the treasures in the Louvre, or out with the Sunday throngs strolling the city's boulevards and gardens. "At last I have come into a dreamland," wrote Harriet Beecher Stowe, seeking escape from the notoriety Uncle Tom's Cabin had brought her. Almost forgotten today, the heroic American ambassador Elihu Washburne bravely remained at his post through the Franco-Prussian War, the long Siege of Paris and even more atrocious nightmare of the Commune. His vivid account in his diary of the starvation and suffering endured by the people of Paris (drawn on here for the first time) is one readers will never forget. The genius of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the son of an immigrant shoemaker, and of painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, three of the greatest American artists ever, would flourish in Paris, inspired by the examples of brilliant French masters, and by Paris itself.

Nearly all of these Americans, whatever their troubles learning French, their spells of homesickness, and their suffering in the raw cold winters by the Seine, spent many of the happiest days and nights of their lives in Paris. McCullough tells this sweeping, fascinating story with power and intimacy, bringing us into the lives of remarkable men and women who, in Saint-Gaudens's phrase, longed "to soar into the blue." The Greater Journey is itself a masterpiece.
The Russian Idea
The Russian Idea
Paperback      ISBN: 0940262495

In this powerful, moving book, first published in 1946, Berdyaev is not so interested in the empirical details of Russian history as he is in "the thought of the Creator about Russia." The "Russian idea" is thus a mystical notion. Religion and philosophy--not economics or politics--determine history and society.

Berdyaev begins his story in the nineteenth century, tracing the lineage of such powerful artists and thinkers as Chaadev, Khomyakov, Kireevksy, Leontyev, Aksakov, Hertzen, and Bakunin, all of whom struggled to integrate the polarities of East and West, spirit and matter, and male and female in the Russian soul. That soul, however, is so immense, boundless, and vague that it is incapable of settling for "the halfway kingdom of culture." Demanding all or nothing--alternately apocalyptic and nihilistic--Russians strove to justify culture and discover Russia's mystical mission.

Impatient with the slow pace of history, distrusting all authority, and yet haunted by a vision of unity, thinkers such as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Federov, and Solovyov created an original and vital religious philosophy that culminated in the Russian renaissance at the beginning of the twentieth century. The fruit of these great figures--of whom Berdyaev was one (others included Florensky, Bulgakov, Rozanov, Merezhkovsky, Blok, and Bely)--was cut short by the 1917 Revolution.

More recently, their works have been available in self-published (Samizdat) editions. A great philosophical and spiritual rebirth was occurring underground. Now they are available again in this book, which is essential reading for an understanding of the new Russia.

C O N T E N T S

Introduction by Christopher Bamford

1. Definition of the Russian National Type
2. The Crucial Importance of the Problem of the Philosophy of History
3. The Problem of the Clash between Personality and World Harmony
4. The Problem of Humanism
5. The Social Color of Russian Thought
6. The Question of the Justification of Culture
7. Authority and the State
8. The Determining Significance of the Religious Theme
9. The Eschatological and Prophetic Character of Russian Thought
10. Summing up of Russian, Nineteenth-Century Thought

Action in Late Ming Thought: The Reorientation of Lü K'Un and Other Scholar-Officials
Action in Late Ming Thought
The Reorientation of Lü K'Un and Other Scholar-Officials
Hardcover      ISBN: 0520043804