MAN'S POWER: A Biased Guide to Thought and Action by Kalman H. Silvert

MAN'S POWER: A Biased Guide to Thought and Action

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A densely abstract essay illuminated by an earnest first-person tone; a profusion of theses without a strong overarching theoretical direction; a philosophical and meta-theoretical gift rare among ""regional experts"" (Silvert is a well-known professor and writer on Latin America) which settles for a solecism about ideology (""constructed out of our conscious learning experience"") and refers to a vague range of modern republics as ""the democratic society""; acute perception of historical piquancies (the differing fates of the British and Spanish aristocracies) coupled with egregious historical blunders (Franco equated with falangism); elaborate sallies against easy targets, like simplistic causal views of political change, accompanied by undeveloped commonsensical jabs (the Johnson administration's Vietnam defense confounded loyalty to permanent institutions with loyalty to temporary custodians)--these are some of the paradoxes presented en route to Silvert's effective acknowledgment that he has only begun to answer his questions about ""constraints and freedoms in the human political condition"" or ""where reason and will take their places in political action and change."" Nonetheless, his palimpsest of rubrics, typologies and obiter dicta concerning stratification, conflict, modernization and community may trigger any number of ""learning experiences.

Pub Date: May 18th, 1970
Publisher: Viking