This collection of essays by America’s foremost polymath delves into some of the many fascinating subjects in which Martin Gardner has had an abiding interest. Focusing primarily on literary and philosophical subjects, Order and Surprise is the sequel to the widely acclaimed Science: Good, Bad and Bogus. Some of Gardner’s best essays and reviews are included in this volume, such as: “Why Librarians Dislike Oz” “The Strange Case of Robert Maynard Hutchins” “H.G. Wells, ‘Premature’ Anti-Communist” “Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four” “Is Nature Ambidextrous?” “Beyond Cultural Relativism” “The Popperism of Sir Karl” “Keeping Up With Einstein”
In addition, Gardner has included many of his perceptive reviews of books by and about such authors as Franz Kafka, Thomas Wolfe, John Updike, Vance Packard, Colin Wilson, Lewis Carroll, and many others.
In some cases the author has modified the original texts, sometimes restoring passages removed by editors, sometimes adding new footnotes to update the material. In many cases, Gardner has added a postscript that allows him to comment on an article or review. Like the previous anthology, this book is divided into two parts. The first contains articles in chronological order of publication; the second, book reviews in similar order.
Order and Surprise represents Gardner at his best – incisive, witty, and urbane.