Item description for St. Augustine in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes) by Paul Strathern...
Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character....I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one s friends to Western civilization. Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe. Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them....I find them hard to stop reading. Richard Bernstein, New York Times. Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise. Jim Holt, Wall Street Journal. These brief and enlightening explorations of our greatest thinkers bring their ideas to life in entertaining and accessible fashion. Philosophical thought is deciphered and made comprehensive and interesting to almost everyone. Far from being a novelty, each book is a highly refined appraisal of the philosopher and his work, authoritative and clearly presented."
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Studio: Ivan R. Dee, Publisher
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.02" Width: 5.02" Height: 0.31" Weight: 0.25 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 1997
Publisher Ivan R. Dee, Publisher
ISBN 1566631505 ISBN13 9781566631501
Availability 0 units.
More About Paul Strathern
Paul Strathern is author of the popular and critically acclaimed Philosophers in 90 Minutes series. Highlights from the series include Nietzsche in 90 Minutes, Aristotle in 90 Minutes, and Plato in 90 Minutes. Mr. Strathern has lectured in philosophy and mathematics and now lives and writes in London. A former Somerset Maugham prize winner, he is also the author of books on history and travel as well as five novels. His articles have appeared in a great many newspapers, including the Observer (London) and the Irish Times. His own degree in philosophy came from Trinity College, Dublin.
Paul Strathern currently resides in London. Paul Strathern was born in 1940.
Reviews - What do customers think about St. Augustine in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes)?
St. Augustine in 90 Slurs Mar 18, 2006
Having read about a dozen or so of the "Philosphers in 90 Minutes" series, I was interested in what Strathern would have to say about the philospher/theologian St. Augustine. What Strathern had to say was basically that he doesn't think much of St. Augustine.
Too much sympathy is as deadly to objectivity as too much antipathy, but a modicum of sympathy is conducive to objectivity. Any degree of antipathy, on the other hand, tends toward the detriment of objectivity. Strathern may not be rabidly anti-Augustine, but it's clear that Strathern doesn't like him. The book reads like an insult comic's routine aimed at its subject.
Strathern's antipathy may not just be against St. Augustine in particular, but saintly theologians in general, as he does a similar hatchet job in "Thomas Aquinas in 90 Minutes." Maybe Strathern should confine himself to writing about philosphers and let someone else write about theologians. The reader would probably be better served by reading "St. Augustine for Armchair Theologians."
A great I*N*T*R*O*D*U*C*T*I*O*N Feb 25, 2005
Am I missing something here? Is the title of this book not 'St. Augustine in 90 min'?
I dont understand people that pick up a book with a title like this and then complain on this site because of 'too little information'(see below).
I knew very little of St Aug. when I started this book because most of the books out there read like volumous engineering manuals.
This book is informative and witty and now I cant wait to read more on St. Aug.
Thank you Mr. Strathern; Mission accomplished.
Augustine summarized almost to abstraction... May 18, 2004
St. Augustine is a subject that cannot be covered in 90 minutes, particularly in under 100 pages with large font. Still, this book serves as a great introduction for those who have ABSOLUTELY NO knowledge of the great philosopher.
If you're only looking for a brief thumbnail sketch of Augustine, or want to know the basic reasons (without details) why he's considered important, then this book will serve you well. If you're looking for details on his life, his theology, or philosophy, you'll have to look elsewhere.
It's important to realize that this book comes at Augustine from a philosophical perspective, not a theological or religious one. It aims to outline why he's considered important to the field of philosophy. So, if you're interested in Augustine's theology or importance from the standpoint of the Catholic church, you'll find almost nothing useful here (in fact, some of it may offend you depending upon your religious bent).
What does this book teach about Augustine? It can be summed up quickly: Augustine brought together the thought of Neoplatonism and Christian scripture, thus preserving philosophy for about 800 years (until Thomas Aquinas took it further in the 13th century); he had troubles with lust; his mother was overbearing; he liked to flagellate himself in his books; he had some interesting ideas how procreation worked in the Garden of Eden. There are a few more facts, but those are the main ones. It is a fun read; it's humorous in places (again, depending upon your background) and you will leave the book with an appreciation of who he was. Other considerably more bulky books will have to flesh out the inevitable nagging questions that this one will leave you with.
Augustine is a towering figure in western philosophy. His work presages Descartes, Kant, and others. He deserves a higher stature than he currently enjoys, but this book will only give you a tiny eency weency snippet of the reasons why.
Completely useless Jan 21, 2004
In this book you will not find useful information that you would not find somewhere else. But you will find many unfounded and biased judgments that allegedly correspond to a "critical" appraisal, but that only reflect the author's own prejudgments. I do not recommend this book.
Too editorialized to be worthy of objective scholarship Dec 13, 2003
It is compelling to want to learn about a prominent figure like Augustine in ninety minutes. Certainly ninety minutes is doctoral level reading in a world where our spans of attention have been greatly diminished by thirty-minute television sitcoms, thirty-second commercials and thirty minute guaranteed pizza delivery. But the real problem with Strathern's work is not so much that it implies knowledge of a man's life and thoughts in a short period of time, but that it is so editorialized as to make it nearly worthless. A better solution, and one requiring LESS than ninety minutes (should that be the criteria for your education), would be to read several different encyclopedia articles about the man. Another excellent encyclopedia-like resource for a succinct overview of Augustine is found in the 'Oxford Companion to Christian Theology'. Better still, pick up a copy of Peter Brown's, 'Augustine of Hippo: A Biography', and spend a little more than ninety minutes to get a decent education.