Books That Inspire 2002


 
The Revolt of the Masses
José Ortega y Gasset


Any book that inspires is read in some context of the reader's life. And so is mine. My father was an English immigrant from a coal mining family in Cumberland. A proud socialist member of the British Labour Party, he taught me that the socialists were all good guys fighting the fascists who were all evil. Ortega y Gasset's book, encountered in my freshman year, made a compelling case that all mass movements shared common virtues and vices. The mass rallies in Madrid and Berlin differed only in trivial ways from those in Moscow. Franco, Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were brothers under the skin. And each could be guaranteed to destroy freedom in the cause of advancing the good of mankind.
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Gordon Atkinson
Professor
Chemistry/Biochemistry