The Seduction of Unreason: The Intellectual Romance with Fascism from Nietzsche to Postmodernism

Richard Wolin, Author Princeton University Press $29.95 (375p) ISBN 978-0-691-11464-4
While not another Heidegger and the Nazis-type expose, this volume does explore the theoretical underpinnings that many European thinkers provided to the emergence of fascism and probe the historical and biographical parallels between post-modernism and anti-democratic and fascist thought. Wolin, a professor of history and comparative literature at the City University of New York and the author of Heidegger's Children, is a thinker of extraordinary depth and precision, fluent in the language of Continental philosophy's extremes. His accounts of the careers of such thinkers as Jung, Gadamer and Bataille are expertly researched and refreshingly fair-minded. And Wolin's pragmatic hold on contemporary politics shines in his analysis of the rise of the New Right in Europe and its trans-Atlantic ramifications. Closing with a measured attack on the""disillusioned denizens of modern society,""--Derrida, Baudrillard and Zizek among them--Wolin emphasizes the potentially disastrous retrogression of dystopian anti-Americanism into political apathy. His ability to resist the""seductions of unreason"" reveal him to be an enduring humanist with a democratic core, one that, he argues, is threatened by partisans of both the traditional right and the postmodern left.
Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Paperback - 375 pages - 978-0-691-12599-2
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4008-2596-7
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