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Time of the Magicians by Wolfram Eilenberger

Time of the Magicians

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Time of the Magicians by Wolfram Eilenberger
Hardcover $30.00
Aug 18, 2020 | ISBN 9780525559665

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“[T]his comprehensive and well-informed treatment deserves credit for bringing four major philosophers down from the heights of abstraction.” Publishers Weekly

“An exemplary work . . . [Eilenberger’s] lucid presentation of his characters’ often hard-to-comprehend thinking and the muddy language in which they expressed it make this book invaluable for anyone seeking to learn about these extraordinary figures.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Spirited [. . .] this comprehensive and well-informed treatment deserves credit for bringing four major philosophers down from the heights of abstraction.” —Publishers Weekly

“A fascinating tour through the lives and thought of some of the most challenging philosophers of the twentieth century: Benjamin, Cassirer, and those two matching gnomic magi, Wittgenstein and Heidegger. It is a book of riches, full of stories as well as ideas, all brought together with a fine, light touch.” —Sarah Bakewell, author of How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer
Time of the Magicians is escapism at its ambitious best: a portrait of four fascinating personalities, a chronicle of a pivotal decade in world history, and an introduction to some of the 20th century’s most important philosophers. Wolfram Eilenberger has written a must-read for those who love history, philosophy, or gripping storytelling.” —Yascha Mounk, author of The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It
“A tour de force . . . Eilenberger’s beautifully written history of the pivotal decade in 20th century metaphysics is as hard to put down as a good novel. Yet Time of the Magicians is more than first-rate history of philosophy. By weaving together these four philosophers’ works and lives, and drawing unexpected connections between their deepest concerns, Eilenberger unfolds new paths for philosophy itself.  This is an extraordinary achievement.” —Susan Neiman, author of Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil

“In this meticulously researched narrative, Wolfram Eilenberger brings to life the intertwining fates of four of the 20th century’s most influential thinkers, illuminating their ideas as well as helping to explain the era they inhabited. Packed with personal stories as well as erudition, this is a book that teaches us both how to live through a time of crisis, and how to think about it—skills we now need once again.” —Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize winning-author of Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism and Gulag: A History 

“New times bring new disasters—and new disasters bring new ways of thinking. Wolfram Eilenberger’s Time of the Magicians recalls an age when philosophers reinvented a world in full meltdown—a world that needed to be remade down to its very punctuation. He makes difficult concepts accessible without dumbing them down, and turns famous names into unforgettably human—all too human—characters.” —Benjamin Moser, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sontag: Her Life and Work

“Wolfram Eilenberger mixes history and biography to produce something truly unusual: a page-turning book about philosophy, told through the lives of four of its most controversial and confounding figures. Their lives were in many cases as chaotic as their work was profound, but he brings them all to life on the page with passion and clarity. Time of the Magicians is both an education and a delight.” —Ruth Franklin, author of Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life

“A vivid, rich and beautifully narrated book. It describes a remarkable intellectual constellation–four different ways of life and four answers to the question: What is human?” — Rüdiger Safranski

  “Wolfram Eilenberger… saves the wonder of philosophy, takes away the fear of the incomprehensible. He does not take sides, but he simply let the different approaches coexist, this is his capacity! He makes it fun to read about every of each four philosophers.” — Süddeutsche Zeitung

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