Underground Man (Classics of Science Fiction)

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9780883551226: Underground Man (Classics of Science Fiction)

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Imagine a Story of the Future from Mr Herbert Spencer! America and the north of England would have swept him out of all respect.... But M. Tarde being not only a Member of the Institute and Professor at the College of France, but a Frenchman, was free to give these fancies that entertained him, public, literary, and witty expression, without self-destruction, and produce what has, in its English dress, a curiously unfamiliar effect. Yet the English reader who can overcome his natural disinclination to this union of intelligence and jesting will find a vast amount of suggestion in M. Tarde's fantastic abundance, and bringing his habitual gravity to bear may even succeed in digesting off the humour altogether, and emerging with edification of it must be admitted a rather miscellaneous sort.

It is perhaps remarkable that for so many people, so tremendous a theme as the material future of mankind should only be approachable either through a method of conscientiously technical, pseudo-scientific discussion that is in effect scarcely an approach at all or else in this mood of levity. I know of no book in this direction that can claim to be a permanent success which combines a tolerable intelligibility with a simple good faith in the reader. One may speculate how this comes about? The subject it would seem is so grave and great as to be incompatibly out of proportion to the affairs and conditions of the individual life about which our workaday thinking goes on. We are interested indeed, but at the same time we feel it is outside us and beyond us. To turn one's attention to it is at once to get an effect of presumption, strain, and extravagant absurdity. It is like picking up a spade to attack a mountain, and one's instinct is to put oneself right in the eyes of one's fellow-men at once, by a few unmistakably facetious flourishes. It is the same instinct really as that protective "foolery" in which schoolboys indulge when they embark upon some hopeless undertaking, or find themselves entirely outclassed at a game.

H.G. Wells

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Product Description:

Excerpt: ...shade! Every night,

About the Author:

French sociologist, criminologist, and social psychologist Gabriel de Tarde (1843–1904) developed influential theories regarding collective behavior, public opinion, and personal influence. Underground Man reflects his belief that under the right circumstances, people possess a virtually unlimited potential for achievement.

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Tarde, Gabriel
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Book Description Hyperion Pr, 1974. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. 1974 Hyperion printing; octavo in original black-stamped grey cloth binding. Minimal wear to edges; front board has quiet brown stain. Otherwise the book is in pristine condition; pages are clean with NO markings, binding tight. A wonderful collector's item! Pasadena's finest independent new and used bookstore. Bookseller Inventory # 81141

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