Geoffrey Fox

Reflections & Inquiries

The Mediterranean world circa 1520

2018.10.02 - Tags: , ,

Leo the African by Amin Maalouf My rating: 4 of 5 stars Amin Malouf’s first novel is a wonderfully vivid reimagining of the life of Hasan al-Wazzan, better known as Leo Africanus, the 16th century chronicler whose Della descrittione dell’Africa et delle cose notabili che iui sono was for decades Europe’s principal reference work on … read more »

Contingency

2018.08.30

Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity by Richard M. Rorty My rating: 5 of 5 stars Rorty is a delightfully stimulating conversation companion, starting a conversation in my head as I read and recognize many observations and have to puzzle over others. In three major sections, he presents his view of how we humans can struggle for … read more »

The resistible rise of You-Know-Who

2018.08.21

Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America by Richard M. Rorty My rating: 4 of 5 stars If for no other reason, you will want to read this book for its explanation and gloomy prediction— in 1998, 18 years before the event —of the sudden emergence of Trump in what we thought was a … read more »

Rorty and us: Taking America back

2018.07.26

Against Bosses, Against Oligarchies: A Conversation with Richard Rorty by Richard M. Rorty My rating: 3 of 5 stars I turn to Rorty (1931-2007) for clues as to how to confront crises that he didn’t live to see, but maybe aren’t so different from those he did. A man of the Left (his capitalization), a … read more »

Left, right, populist, non-populist and the news

2018.05.30

A friend just forwarded me this article: In Western Europe, Public Attitudes Toward News Media More Divided by Populist Views Than Left-Right Ideology This is of great interest to me, both for what it claims to say and for the methodological issues, starting with the survey’s two questions to measure “populist views”. Are they really … read more »