THE OBSTRUCTED PATH by H. Stuart Hughes

THE OBSTRUCTED PATH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ten years ago Consciousness and Society appeared as part one of a projected three-volume study of European social thought from 1890 to the present. Narrower scholars often patronize Hughes, he sometimes patronizes his subject-matter, students and critics mostly adore him, and so it goes... into volume two, subtitled ""French Social Theory in the Years of Desperation 1930-1960."" Hughes takes up Marc Bloch, Georges Bernanos, Saint-Exupery, Martin du Gard and Sartre, arguing that they produced philosophies without exits--intellectual constructs which gave the French little help in transfusing a nation sapped by depression, wartime defeat and counter-revolutionary ventures. As a way out into the clearing he interprets the work of Gamus and Tcilhard de Chardin, while other objects of his critical attention include Maritain and Marcel, Malraux and De Gaulle, Merleau-Ponty and Levi-Strauss. The battleground of French ideological controversy stretches further to the left than Anglo-American terrain, and anti-Marxist positions are defended with greater philosophical finesse. Hughes' own stand is far from invulnerable, of course, but his mappings are extremely lucid and provocative. The sequel will interpret continental thought outside France.

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 1967
Publisher: Harper & Row