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Description - Turning Back the Clock by Umberto Eco

"Turning Back the Clock" is a brilliant collection of essays by one of the leading intellectuals of our time. With his customary sharpness and wit, Eco explains the tragic steps backwards that have been taken since the end of the last millennium. After the Cold War, the 'Hot War' has made its comeback in Afghanistan and Iraq. Exhuming Kipling's 'Great Game', we have gone back to the clash between Islam and Christianity. The ghost of the Yellow Danger has been resurrected, the nineteenth-century anti-Darwin debate has been reopened, right-wing governments predominate. It almost seems like history, tired of the big steps forward it has taken in the past two millennia, has gone into reverse. This book proposes not so much that we resume a forward march, but at the very least that we cease marching backwards.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781846550355
ISBN-10: 1846550351
Format: Hardback
(240mm x 162mm x 35mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Harvill Secker
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 27-Sep-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Turning Back the Clock by Umberto Eco

Book Reviews - Turning Back the Clock by Umberto Eco

US Kirkus Review » The prolific novelist, essayist and philosopher comes this time as a latter-day Walter Lippmann in this gathering of journalism, most of which first appeared in two Italian newspapers.Eco (The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, 2005, etc.) considers the disquieting retrograde circumstances of world civilization, discussing topics as diverse as racism, Harry Potter and the Tower of Babel. He urges us to be aware of the difference between science (generally a good thing) and technology (sometimes not so good). He notes that, since the end of the Cold War, "paleowar" has given way to "neowar"; armed conflict now has no front and, ultimately, no winner. Neowar is media-based and the cure is unlikely: universal peace. Eco's wide-ranging journalism speculates on the difficulties of theocracy and private schools, on the instructions of Mussolini and Thucydides, on the uses of the crucifix and the soul of an embryo. He also has some witty things to say about The Da Vinci Code and Mel Gibson's version of The Passion. Throughout, Eco provokes readers with his arsenal of classical learning and easy humor. He reflects on anti-Semitism, Latin etymology, fundamentalist hermeneutics, village idiots (aka politicians) and, finally, death. Though some commentary is dated (e.g., what will become of Saddam?), the writing exudes an easygoing, natural intelligence. Italian politics, especially some easy potshots at the Berlusconi regime, gets much ink. (Lest readers this side of the Atlantic tend to nod, be assured there are lessons to be learned when such politicos make state interests coincide with their private interests.) The sagacious author, a professional semiotician, presents commentary on the difficulties of communication, with exposures of bunkum and cant reminiscent of Orwell. If confusion still exists, he declares, "I'm not the one who confuses ideas; we have merely discussed ideas that are confused, and it's a good thing if we understand that they are confused "Entertainment and a bit of wisdom for a thinking audience. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco (1932-2016) wrote fiction, literary criticism and philosophy. His first novel, The Name of the Rose, was a major international bestseller. His other works include Foucault's Pendulum, The Island of the Day Before, Baudolino, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, The Prague Cemetery and Numero Zero along with many brilliant collections of essays.

Books By Umberto Eco

The Name Of The Rose by Umberto Eco
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Numero Zero by Umberto Eco
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Book of Legendary Lands by Umberto Eco
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How to Write a Thesis by Umberto Eco
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