PositiveThe New YorkerDarkness at Noon is certainly dated, in the sense that an effort of imagination is needed to enter into its time and place. But its central theme will probably always seem timely, because every political creed must eventually face the question of whether noble ends can justify evil means ... Much of the power of the book comes from its journalistic immediacy and the authenticity of its details ... But the real plot of Darkness at Noon is almost entirely internal ... At its core, Darkness at Noon treats Stalinism as a philosophical problem. But was it? Doubtless, most of the crimes committed in its name stemmed from more ordinary motives, like greed, fear, and hatred, just as the defendants of the Moscow Trials confessed largely out of terror and exhaustion rather than as penitence for existential guilt. Still, Koestler saw that, in the modern world, it took the ruthlessness of an idea to marshal ordinary human cruelty into an irresistible force. It is this distrust of the tyrannical power of reason, even when it considers itself most righteous and humane, that makes Darkness at Noon a subversive book even today. It is still hard for people who consider themselves enlightened to accept Rubashov’s hard-won conclusion: \'Perhaps thinking everything through to the end was not a healthy thing to do.\'