A collection of short sayings on a variety of topics, from intelligence and politics to wealth and happiness.
Aphorisms may be a lost art to many people, but Hutchison sees them as a form of twisted insight, marked by surprise, brevity, and philosophical depth. He begins his book with a short history of the aphoristic tradition, and insists that many popular sayings and quotes have been misattributed after passing through the decades from one thinker to the next. He then presents his own collection of brief, crystalized points and questions on a range of subjects. While some are humorous (“Where there’s a will, there’s a lawyer looking for a way”), others hinge on more serious cynicism (“When politicians talk about the ‘greater good,’ they mean good for everybody but you”). Readers who love clever sayings will enjoy the variety in this book, which includes sharp, critical views and universal wisdom. For example, one passage remarks that “[i]t’s never too late to admit you’re wrong, and always too early to insist you’re right.” Moments such as these will give readers a sense of shared dignity and humility, as they implicate not just one type of actor (lawyers or politicians) or one social construct (marriage or politics) but the human race as a whole. It’s in this way that Hutchison captures poignant thoughts that will stick with readers and offer launching points for deeper reflection—a feature of the aphorism that’s most difficult for writers to capture. Although the author does touch on marriage and dating, he does so in a somewhat sharpened, dissecting way, and he often steers away from deeply exploring romantic love. However, readers who enjoy passing along quotes to friends and family will find this collection to be fruitful for conversation and debate.
A clever, broad collection of short, definitive remarks about life, love, and social phenomena.