SCIENCE, THE GLORIOUS ENTERTAINMENT by Jacques Barzun

SCIENCE, THE GLORIOUS ENTERTAINMENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Jacques Barzun agrees with Blake: ""May God keep us/From single vision and Newton's sleep"". Indeed Science, or the social misuse of it, seems to him rather like an irresistible nightmare the modern world accepts as its one and only fate. His new book- a shrewd, sardonic, extremely well thought out and inexhaustibly researched protest- shows in example after example the thought-cliches of popular scientism (and the reaction against it), the cultural hegemony it enjoys, the multiple confusions it engenders, and the problems it breeds with each new biologic wonder. The professor steers clear of polemic, but his razor-sharp approach often has the same effect as just about everything is slashed, from the blundering bundle of behavioral methodology to our passion for ""Ritual Accuracy"" and the dismaying trend of the arts, like public policy in general, towards a dehumanized abstractness. ""Science"", says Barzun, ""Substitutes the complications of its system for the complexity of the world, and what man needs is renewed contact with the world"". It's a familiar cry, but there's nothing familiar about the bill of particulars. A frightening, very valuable work.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1964
Publisher: arper & Row