“There are forces making for happiness, and forces making for misery. We do not know which will prevail, but to act wisely we must be aware of both.”
Bertrand Russell (May 18, 1872–February 2, 1970) is one of humanity’s most grounding yet elevating thinkers, his writing at once lucid and luminous. There is something almost prophetic in the way he bridges timelessness and timeliness in contemplating ideas urgently relevant to modern life a century earlier — from how boredom makes happiness possibleto why science is the key to democracy. But nowhere does his genius shine more brilliantly than in What I Believe (public library).
Published in 1925, the book is a kind of catalog of hopes — a counterpoint to Russell’s Icarus, a catalog of fears released the previous year — exploring our place in the universe and our “possibilities in the way of achieving the good life.”/.../