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Publishers Weekly, 2010-01-18 Modeled on the pop philosopher Alain de Botton's trademark blend of everyday observation and intellectual sophistication, this lively jaunt through the course of a day treats readers to such disquisitions as Thomas Hobbes on rush-hour traffic, Jacques Lacan on shopping, and Friedrich Nietzsche on work. Journalist Rowland Smith does a fair job of concisely explaining big ideas, and he offers a surprisingly colorful cast of thinkers from Carl Schmitt to Michel Foucault. He's at his best teasing out the little idiosyncrasies of modern experience, where simply washing your face in the morning betrays a remarkable optimism for the day ahead and fighting with your partner once in a while might actually be a good idea. While occasionally skirting into shallow discussions of some philosophers, the author maintains the central conceit of describing a typical day with admirable resourcefulness. This charming book wears its erudition with ease and suggests that despite what Socrates says, it is in fact the unexamined day that is not worth living. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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