Charm and urbanity again mark these highly personal essays from the pen of Columbia's well-known professor of Philosophy. Random thoughts, from 1944 on, touch on many topics, from bores he has known and his earnest wish for their extinction, to the decline and fall of our civilization. There are innocuous incidents of everyday living as touchstone for some of the most delightful pieces. Some of the themes that recur are his dislike for planes and the old question of city versus country, travel and the isolation from everyday life it enforces, the cyclical character of human life. This is not a philosopher's book, in the usual sense, nor even of particular appeal to the sophisticated highbrow. But ideal for pick-up reading, for essay lovers.