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6+ Works 3,965 Membros 139 Críticas 3 Favorited

About the Author

Sarah Bakewell was a curator of early printed books at the Wellcome Library before becoming a full-time writer, publishing her highly acclaimed biographies The Smart and The English Dane. She lives in London, where she teaches creative writing at City University.
Image credit: By Hamrazyazdel - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55226379

Obras por Sarah Bakewell

Associated Works

Climates (1928) — Introdução, algumas edições259 exemplares, 6 críticas
Philosophy Bites Back (2012) — Contribuidor — 64 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



This is unlike any book I have ever read. It's about a philosopher but a philospher to wasn't abstract. Michel de Montaigne was practical, down-to-earth, and this made me enjoy learning about him. It's long, but readable and I'll probably go back to it because I turned down many page corners in order to refer back some day.
dvoratreis | 85 outras críticas | May 22, 2024 |
Quick Review: I'm so happy I stumbled across this book and decided to take it home. I've never read a more insightful and enlightening, encouraging and hopeful book!
CADesertReader | 6 outras críticas | Apr 9, 2024 |
I’d recommend this book to anyone looking to bootstrap their way into existentialism. It describes why existentialism and its forerunner, phenomenology, caused such an upheaval in philosophy in the twentieth century, spilling over into popular culture, and why this movement still matters today. Bakewell even offers a one-page definition of existentialism.
The title reflects the book’s approach. It refers to an encounter at a Left Bank café when Raymond Aron explained phenomenology to his school chum Jean-Paul Sartre and Sartre’s partner, Simone de Beauvoir, by remarking that you could talk about the apricot cocktail they were enjoying and make philosophy out of it. This was audacious and ran counter to the practice of philosophy since Aristotle.
By starting with this anecdote, Bakewell signalizes what was new in these movements, with their focus on the lived experience of the individual. It also reflects her approach; she writes of her response to Sartre’s novel, Nausea, when she read it as a sixteen-year-old, making her want to study philosophy.
This mix of biography and the history of ideas results in a readable book that I enjoyed. As Bakewell writes, every one of these figures was flawed, as were their ideas. But while she makes clear the failure of Heidegger either to explain or apologize for his Naziism, she goes easier on Sartre, whose exasperating defense of Stalinism betrayed the core principles of existentialism. And even when he belatedly dropped his loyalty to the Soviets in 1968, as tanks rolled into Prague, it was only to jump to Mao. By detailing these shifts, she permits readers to make up their own minds.
I only regret coming to this book so late in life. My copy of Sein und Zeit sits on my shelf, as unmarked as when I bought it twenty-four years ago. Perhaps I’ll still tackle it, as well as Being and Nothingness, sitting near it. And then Beauvoir, Marcel, so many others! But even this introduction has already changed my thinking, which is more than many books do.
And Juliette Greco singing “Sous le ciel de Paris” keeps running through my head.
… (mais)
HenrySt123 | 41 outras críticas | Mar 7, 2024 |
A story of the people, the ideas and the history of philosophy of Existentialism with a trace to how it reaches us today.

I can’t find faults with this book that would not just be critique of the specific choices of content emphasis.
yates9 | 41 outras críticas | Feb 28, 2024 |



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