Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
LECTURE ONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d__In2PQS60
LECTURE TWO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al7O2puvdDA

ALSO AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ONE THROUGH TEN ON IDEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE



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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

MOVIE NIGHT


I pause briefly in my labors for a trip to the movies.  From time to time, Turner Classic Movies [channel 67 if you have Time Warner Cable] spends a day screening the films of some grand old star.  Yesterday they were doing Katherine Hepburn.  During the day, I caught brief glimpses of Without Love and Pat and Mike, two of the romantic comedies of Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, who were long-time lovers in real life.  In the evening, Susie and I watched the second half of The Madwoman of Chaillot, a wonderful 1969 rendering of the Jean Giraudoux play written in 1943 and first staged in Paris in 1945 [the movie was a failure, but I never read reviews.]  I shan't trouble you with a plot summary [Google it], but I did want to say a word in praise of the bravura performance turned in by Danny Kaye as the Ragpicker.  His extended speech, in the mock trial staged by the Madwoman and her cronies, is a brilliant, coruscating condemnation of vulture capitalists that calls to mind the best of Brecht.  As I watched Kaye deliver that speech, written more than seventy years ago, I was struck by how completely applicable it is to our current condition.  During the post-war boom that Piketty calls les trentes glorieuses, we somehow lost our public awareness of the destructiveness and evil of capitalism.  Watching that film from the Sixties made this old lefty's heart beat a bit stronger just for a moment.  Is it too much to hope that we shall remember as a nation what we once knew?

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