During his lifetime, Jean-Paul Sartre enjoyed unprecedented popularity for a philosopher, due partly to his role as a spokesman for existentialism-at the opportune moment when this set of ideas filled the spiritual gap left amidst the ruins of World War II. Existentialism was a philosophy of action and showed the ultimate freedom of the individual. In Sartre's hands it became a revolt against European bourgeois values. In Sartre in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Sartre's life and ideas and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Sartre's work, a brief list of suggested readings for those who wish to delve deeper, and chronologies that place Sartre within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.
by Paul Strathern
"Neither a biography nor a systematic explication of the views of the famous twentieth-century French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, this production is an attempt to combine the two. And given the length of the program, the life and the philosophy of this iconoclastic thinker necessarily receive somewhat cursory treatment. British-born Robert Whitfield does a fine job with the material, speaking in a practiced, authoritative tone. He brings the right level of expression to the reading and handles the frequent French terms and names with aplomb. Some of the biggest ideas in modern philosophy are introduced, but listeners without much background in the subject may find the going a bit mysterious. M.G. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"
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