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The Lotus and the Robot

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  55 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published 1961 by Macmillan (first published 1960)
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This book is a collection of essay about Koestler's experiences and observation of religion and cultural practices in India and Japan over the course of, I think, a year and a half.

Some points are quite insightful and I would expect accurate descriptions of his experiences with both these cultures, but that's pretty much where it ends. Without being an apologist for the institutions and cultures he criticizes, I have to say he is not as balanced and objective as he sounds at first. I cannot ima
Nov 05, 2010 Sam rated it liked it
A debunking of the fantasy of the "spiritual east" by someone, Arthur Koestler, best known for Darkness At Noon, who actually seems fairly sympathetic to that way of thinking (believed in telepathy) and a pretty well-written piece of journalism, especially the opening chapters on post-independence India circa 1950's. I actually enjoyed it; didn't knock my socks off, but would like to read other things by Koestler, who I learned of from a NY Review of Books rehabilition piece awhile back.
Nov 12, 2010 Michelle is currently reading it
As much as I love the premise of this book I cannot get past the second chapter. After reading pages over and over again I think it's time to take a break and move on.
Apr 21, 2009 Joshua added it
India has some problems. Japan has different problems. Maybe western civilization isn't so bad after all.
Oct 01, 2008 Monica marked it as maybe-someday
Recommended to Monica by: Shane via ISB Compendium
It didn't get a great review here
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Arthur Koestler CBE [*Kösztler Artúr] was a prolific writer of essays, novels and autobiographies.

He was born into a Hungarian Jewish family in Budapest but, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria. His early career was in journalism. In 1931 he joined the Communist Party of Germany but, disillusioned, he resigned from it in 1938 and in 1940 published a devastating anti-Communis
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