Lawrence Lessig - "a brilliant agile mind - absolutely extraordinarily prolific writer and speaker and above all an advocate for all the right things"
"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of a thinking power called an idea ... no one possesses the less of it because every other possesses the whole of it ... as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening mine" -- Thomas Jefferson
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Nietzsche soars in philosophic thought in Beyond Good and Evil. He transcended most of his 19th century contemporaries and considered the bulk of their philosophic thinking to be greatly limited by their acceptance of Christian premises. Denying a universal morality for all people, Nietzsche instead proposed that the individual's "will to power" upon the world was the means to move beyond good and evil. Agree? Disagree? Agree to disagree? Brilliantly thought provoking.
Brother Jacob is the story of a confectioners apprentice who steals from his mother to emigrate to Jamaica and make his fortune. It is a satirical modern fable that draws telling parallels between eating and reading.
The immense popularity of Common Sense contributed to fomenting the American Revolution. The work is a political pamphlet denouncing British rule written by Thomas Paine and first published in 1776. To help spread its ideas Paine donated the copyright for Common Sense and paid for the first printing himself. At the height of its popularity only the Bible outsold it.
Raskolnikov is a desperately impoverished young student and intellectual who robs and murders a moneylender to ease his own financial problems and, he rationalises, to better the world by expelling it of her evil doings. However, after he falls ill, he is eventually burdened by his past actions and seeks salvation. Was it justifiable homicide? Captivating and often disturbing, this novel explores this and other profound life concepts. Crime and Punishment is considered to be the one of the most influential Russian novels ever written. Read it and see why.
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