Preface by Tariq Ali
This book is proof that the Athenians were right to kill Socrates - philosophy is dangerous in the hands of the young and the stupid. The anthology's editors, led by Tariq Ali, excerpt the writings of a wide array of historical figures, including Socrates, and warp them so that their ideas mesh with a sophomoric revolutionary ideology. Thus Martin Luther King's condemnation of the Vietnam War sits alongside a quote from the Marquis de Sade's Philosophy in the Bedroom, and both are reduced to facile insurrectionist slogans. The longest excerpt, unsurprisingly, is from The Communist Manifesto. Perhaps it was the only text which could be quoted at length without contradicting the editors' intent.
If you need any further reason not to purchase this book, Tariq Ali admits that the work is subpar in his preface. "To do proper justice to the subject, we would have needed... unlimited time and resources to produce a three-volume encyclopedia on this theme. Logistical problems and material scarcity made this an impossible task." Perhaps he should also have added intellectual dishonesty to his list of excuses.