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Modernity on Endless Trial

Leszek Kolakowski delves into some of the most intellectually vigorous questions of our time in this remarkable collection of essays garnished with his characteristic wit. Ten of the essays have never appeared before in English.

"Exemplary. . . . It should be celebrated." —Arthur C. Danto, New York Times Book Review

"This book . . . express[es] Kolakowski’s thought on God, man, reason, history, moral truth and original sin, prompted by observation of the dramatic struggle among Christianity, the Enlightenment and modern totalitarianism. It is a wonderful collection of topics." —Thomas Nagel, Times Literary Supplement

"No better antidote to bumper-sticker thinking exists than this collection of 24 ’appeals for moderation in consistency,’ and never has such an antidote been needed more than it is now." —Joseph Coates, Chicago Tribune

"Whether learned or humorous, these essays offer gems in prose of diamond hardness, precision, and brilliance." —Thomas D’Evelyn, The Christian Science Monitor

A "Notable Books of the Year 1991" selection, New York Times Book Review—a "Noted with Pleasure" selection, New York Times Book Review—a "Summer Reading 1991" selection, New York Times Book Review—a "Books of the Year" selection, The Times.

267 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1990

Philosophy: Philosophy of Society

Sociology: General Sociology

Table of Contents

Foreword
I. On Modernity, Barbarity, and Intellectuals
1. Modernity on Endless Trial
2. Looking for the Barbarians: The Illusions of Cultural Universalism
3. The Intellectuals
4. Why Do We Need Kant?
5. In Praise of Exile
II. On the Dilemmas of the Christian Legacy
6. The Revenge of the Sacred in Secular Culture
7. Can the Devil Be Saved?
8. On the So-Called Crisis of Christianity
9. The Illusion of Demythologization
10. Philosophical Faith in the Face of Revelation
11. From Truth to Truth
III. On Liberals, Revolutionaries, and Utopians
12. The Death of Utopia Reconsidered
13. The Idolatry of Politics
14. The Self-Poisoning of the Open Society
15. Politics and the Devil
16. Irrationality in Politics
17. Marxism and Human Rights
18. Revolution—a Beautiful Sickness
19. How to Be a Conservative-Liberal-Socialist: A Credo
IV. On Scientific Theories
20. Why an Ideology Is Always Right
21. The General Theory of Not-Gardening
22. Fabula mundi and Cleopatra’s Nose
23. Emperor Kennedy Legend: A New Anthropological Debate
Epilogue: Education to Hatred, Education to Dignity

Awards

The University of Chicago Press: Gordon J. Laing Award
Won

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