MEN AND NATIONS by Louis J. Halle


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One might almost say that in this successor to his Dream and Reality (1959) Louis Halle, historian, naturalist and political philosopher, has provided the philosophical background for the challenge of the earlier historical survey. While he addresses himself to the problem, in part, of why in recent times political decisions have failed in their purpose, he also approaches the reasons why we, as individuals and as a nation, have fallen short in our conduct on domestic and foreign issues. The work begins with a brilliant analysis of the dual world in which we live, the world of perfect ideas and imperfect imitation. It then goes on to show how this dual philosophy is the foundation on which civilization is built, how the communities of mankind are nominal ideas imperfectly realized. The author demonstrates the far-reaching consequences of attributing the nominal entities to one will. Finally, Mr. Halle considers the kind of community best adapted to the end realization of a better world, to a closer approximation of the world of ideas. He has provided here an intelligble and stimulating guide to a branch of study too often considered of no vital importance. The work is concise and perfectly clear to the general reader who approaches it without prior knowledge of the subject. For those who want to pursue it further there is an excellent bibliography of ideas in amplification of the book's thesis. Highly recommended.

Publisher: Princeton Univ. Press