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This collection of essays and stories by Bertrand Russell, the influential modern philosopher, is divided into four distinct parts. The first part is devoted to six essays on the books that influenced him in youth, broadly speaking from the age of 15 to the age of 21. For Russell, this was a time when each book was an adventure and enormously important to him when first exploring the world and trying to determine his attitude towards it. The writers whom he selects for discussion are Shelley, Turgenev, Ibsen, Milton, certain historians (especially Gibbon) and the great mathematical writers. The second part of the book is devoted to essays on politics and education. The third part consists of divertissements, parables, nightmares and dreams, the dreams being recorded exactly as dreamt and in no way decorated or improved. The final section of the book contains 11 essays and addresses on peace and war, which include some of Russell's famous public pronouncements on nuclear warfare and international tension. Rich in wit and humor, Fact and Fiction is a highly characteristic Russell book, demonstrating the great width of his interests and the depth of his convictions.
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