Whereas the highly acclaimed first volume of Ray Monk's biography focused on Bertrand Russell's achievements in philosophy and his often tortured relations with friends and lovers, this volume has at its centre the tragic and deeply moving story of Russell's relationship with his first son, John. That story, until now largely untold, traces Russell's joy at John's birth to his frightened dismay at John's collapse into schizophrenia. Russell had fervent hopes that education and parenthood could produce an 'independent, fearless and free' generation that would transform society, of which John would provide a leading example. In John's decline can also be seen Russell's disappointment at the difficulty of the reform of society. By describing the private as well as the public sides of Russell's life, this book at last does justice to the complexities of one of the most extraordinary men of the twentieth century.From the Back Cover:
'Monk's study of the great British philosopher is a terrific read...Compelling' The Times
'Monk's RUSSEL is, in its seriousness, its intelligence and sheer narrative drive, one of the outstanding biographies of our time...Monk's account of Russell's family life comes as a disturbing revelation...A bold, penetrating and extraordinary distressing books.' Sunday Telegraph
In the second half of his life, Bertrand Russell transformed himself from a major philosopher to a popular writer and political activist. Attracting both celebrity and notoriety in equal measure, he was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Order of Merit. Making full use of private family correspondence, Ray Monk focuses on Russell's disastrous personal life, particularly his tragic relationship with his son John. Completing the definitive study of Russell's life begun with THE SPIRIT OF SOLITUDE, Ray Monk gives us the classic account of one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century.
'A top-class book...Like the first volume, this is superbly researched and compellingly written.' FINANCIAL TIMES
"THE GHOSE OF MADNESS completes the story begun in Professor Monk's superb BERTRAND RUSSELL: THE SPIRIT OF SOLITUDE' the two volumes together constitute an exceptional achievement in intellectual bigraphy.' EVENING STANDARD
'Fascinating and painstaking like the first volume...will no doubt be hailed as the definitive life.' DAILY MAIL
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