Brett Williams's Reviews > Icarus Fallen: Search For Meaning In An Uncertain World

Icarus Fallen by Chantal Delsol
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Read 2 times. Last read May 18, 2017 to March 5, 2018.

Incredible, spellbinding, and how the heck did she do that?

This is one of those very few books in my library that may produce more note pages than there are pages in the book itself. Delsol is a rare individual with the capacity to see through the societal veil with near perfect clarity, then explain it to the rest of us in a manner so revealing in its simplicity, we wonder why we never saw the truth to begin with. Most remarkably, she reveals underlying psychology – a field generally considered witchcraft to those of us in the hard sciences - with the same kind of precision. I can’t say every paragraph was a revelation, but I can safely say nearly every page was. Delsol does for her subject what the periodic table did for those confusing elements. The world makes sense now. Delsol ranks with Allan Bloom and Michael J. Sandal as one of the giants in modern political philosophy.

In a very approximate nutshell, Icarus Fallen is about the evolution of Enlightenment ideals into what they are now, and the impacts those changes have on Western civilization. If this book doesn’t terrify the Western world for what it has become, nothing will.

For me there are, however, three distractions. First is the Forward by Virgil P. Nemoianu, which sounds like a partisan stab from the American political Right. If anyone needs to read this book, which is quite balanced, it is the American Left. Few copies will be read by liberals after Nemoianu’s second sentence. The next distraction is the publisher, ISI Books. ISI has published wonderful titles like this, and absurdities like Darwin Day In America with all the usual Creationist talking points that resonate with a scientifically illiterate public. This gives the impression ISI has a dogma to satisfy because with the small volumes they sell it’s not about the money. Lastly, Delsol herself bruises her image with her position on the natural world and popular responses to its demise. Instead of a measurable fact, it seems to be denied as, “Clearly a contemporary variant of pantheism.” Here she reads like the Church resistant to Copernicus. Could it be that the natural world is viewed less as a playground for Hippies, and more of a moral matter, perhaps for some, of God’s creation superior to market demands? All in all, this is a remarkable book, I hope everyone makes time to read.
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Reading Progress

March 23, 2015 – Started Reading
March 23, 2015 – Shelved
May 4, 2015 – Finished Reading
May 6, 2015 – Shelved as: favorites
May 18, 2017 – Started Reading
March 5, 2018 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel Y literally none of the books you ever rate highly are available at my library hahaha....where do you source your BOOKS?!!?


Brett Williams Hi Rachel. I get most of my books as references from the books I read. Read one, buy three. A disease. (Don't know the name of it.) Delsol is the polar opposite of Michael Sherman "Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, And Freedom." In the way Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine are opposites. Which is what I'm reading now: "The Great Debate." I'm not keeping my Goodreads site updated well lately. :( Delsol starts off a bit esoteric but is really quite amazing. Her US publisher (ISI) can be suspect, as they have an agenda. And Delsol falls in line with some of it, which I brushed off for her larger message - a critique of modernity and its inherent hostilities to tradition. Which Paine loved, and Burke, like Delsol, claim has its dangers. Sometimes along the lines of Allan Bloom. So far, my problem is, I agree with both Paine/Shermer and Burke/Delsol. (!)


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