One Review

Funnily enough, reviewers aren’t thronging and jostling to review Why Truth Matters. Maybe they figured out that it was actually an extended exercise in irony, or something, and didn’t want to be made to look foolish by taking it seriously. Anyway there is one review from Library Journal, posted at Barnes & Noble.

Benson and Stangroom (coeditors, www. set out to prove why truth matters. Their argument isn’t so much one for truth as one against ideologies and philosophies that minimize truth’s importance. These counterarguments include discourses on basic human thought, cultural relativism, political reasoning, feminism, and other current and historical thought movements. The writing is superbly engaging, and each chapter is well argued. But the book’s strong point is its reasonable and concise overview of the major arguments and viewpoints directly and indirectly limiting the precedence of truth. This overview allows readers to grasp easily not only each argument but also the subtle patterns into which the arguments connect. Though easy to follow, the text does assume a fair amount of prior reading. Recommended for academic collections and larger public systems with suitable demand.-Jason Moore, Madison Cty. Lib. Syst., MS Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Well, yeah. It does assume at least a little prior reading. It wouldn’t be anyone’s choice for the first or only book a person ever read. But some books are like that. They’re part of a conversation. Not all books can be the ideal choice for the first or only book a person ever reads. Some have to fit into the middle somewhere, so that the conversation can go on. (I mention that because it’s actually quite difficult to figure out how much to assume readers will know or be able to figure out and how much they will want explained. Too much in one direction and you frustrate readers and perhaps make them feel ignorant or stupid or both, but too much in the other direction and you risk making them feel patronized and insulted and also slowed down and impeded and plain bored. It can be very tricky.)

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