A SECOND LOOK IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR: Further Autobiographical Reflections of a Philosopher at Large by Mortimer J. Adler

A SECOND LOOK IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR: Further Autobiographical Reflections of a Philosopher at Large

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Adler--populist philosopher, educator, Encyclopaedia Britannica editor, and prolific author (Desires, Right and Wrong, 1991, etc.)--weighs in with a second, thin memoir. Adler wrote his first autobiography, Philosopher at Large, at age 75. He is now 90, and, he says, is ""impelled to take a second look in the rear-view mirror."" He cautions that this is an intellectual autobiography rather than a collection of ""reminiscences,"" and, indeed, anecdotes are few. Adler does recount some stories of his early days in academia, during which he stepped on some toes but formed a lasting alliance with celebrated Univ. of Chicago president Robert Maynard Hutchins. He also discusses his educational projects, such as the Aspen Institute, the Paideia Project, and, most controversial, the Great Books of the Western World volumes. As the author of 50 books, Adler offers advice on how to write one (think first, write later), and notes the value of reverie. Finally, he describes how he became an Episcopalian at age 84, after a lifetime of atheism. Adler has led an interesting life, but his memoir is padded with orotund pronouncements, many having to do with his ""102 Great Ideas,"" and it seems in many places to be composed largely of the contents of ancient filing cabinets (""Since the first part of my address on that occasion was autobiographical, I think it fitting to reproduce the opening paragraphs below....""). Spring cleaning fobbed off as memoir.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Macmillan