PositiveThe Times (UK)... his most beautiful yet ... The book’s principal theme is that reality as we think we know it does not really exist ... This basically is how evolution has constructed reality for human beings: a useful system of icons and symbols to help us to navigate the complex truth underneath. The words and ideas we use to think about those symbols are not especially helpful to describe reality. And, this being the lighthearted book review that it is, that leads us to the minor issue of . . . what is reality? ... reality as we have traditionally conceived of it does not exist ... Reality is relational. Nothing exists except in relation to something else. Logically this is not hard to grasp ... This may sound gorgeously esoteric but, as Rovelli insists, it is the best idea we have of the actual real world we live in.
RaveThe Times (UK)Eloquent, thoughtful advice about how \'productive disagreement\' might be achieved; how in arguments we should strive for emotional connection, how we should actually listen to what our opponents have to say, how we should be intellectually curious, humorous, aware of our cultural biases, ready to acknowledge our mistakes. I disagree with Leslie in one matter only: his optimism ... For the internet is the unavoidable subject of this book, whether Leslie likes it or not ... From another perspective, the kind of reasoned, polite debate promoted by Conflicted may seem the product of another age — one in which public discourse was carried by the tiny minority of wealthy metropolitan pundits who had access to opinion columns, radio airtime and seats on political TV panels ... However seductive their feelings of moral superiority, Leslie’s book shows their rage all too often leads only to failure and futility ... but if you want to argue better, Leslie’s manual will be invaluable.
MixedThe Times (UK)Suzman argues that for all our modern belief that work gives us \'purpose\' and \'meaning\', it is not natural for human beings to work much at all ... for the book to have taken flight Suzman needed to find new, audacious ideas about work in the centuries that followed. But he writes with less conviction and less detail about promising subjects such as the rise of cities, the Industrial Revolution and the rise of modern management techniques. With more time in the library and a bit of Sapiens-style intellectual daring, this book could have provided real intellectual thrills. Next time he needs a research assistant and a bottle of gin ... There is definitely a grand theory of everything to do with the history of work to be written. Suzman’s book isn’t quite it. But if you read Suzman, then Markovits, then Graeber, you’ll be most of the way there.
Anne Helen Petersen
PositiveThe Times (UK)The \'burnout\' described by Petersen’s book is a matter not just of financial insecurity, but also of disappointed expectations. Middle-class millennials were helicopter-parented through countless exams and CV-boosting activities by anxious mums and dads. They spent their summer holidays not at the beach, but undertaking badly paid or unpaid internships. If they eventually won the prestigious jobs they sought, they found that the pay scarcely covered the rent in the big cities where those jobs were located. The archetypal millennial in popular culture is a panicking overachiever ... Petersen’s book is a readable, well-researched guide to a generation.