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Voltaire's Bastards - The Dictatorship of Reason in the West by John Ralston Saul, 640 pages

What flaw in Western democracies leaves so many of their citizens feeling frustrated and disempowered? How did the arms trade become the single largest industry in a world ostensibly at peace? Why have Washington, Wall Street and Hollywood all failed?

These are just some of the unnerving questions that John Ralston Saul poses in 'Voltaire's Bastards', a phosphorescently intelligent search and destroy mission against the foundations of contemporary civilisation.

In an argument that takes in Chinese eunuchs and Henry Kissenger, the rationalised torture of the Inquisition and the scientifically managed debacle in Vietnam, medieval saints and modern day newscasters, Saul shows how the West's love affair with the ideology of pure reason has made us cripplingly dependant on process-minded experts - 'Voltaire's Bastard's' - whose rational systems are bereft of both meaning and morality. The result is a learned and devastating critique of our political, economic and cultural establishments.

Some pen marks have been made in two of the book's chapters.
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  • Seller location: Wellington City, Wellington, NZ

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