These two books neatly collected into one volume are written by a man who was a traditional academic but chose to work outside the academy and it is this that he discusses in these books. Trained as a historian Thompson takes a mythical view of history informed both by his own views and those of W.B. Yeats whose "A Vision" is interpreted here.
To classify Thompson as simply "new age" would be to dismiss him too easily. While his work does fit at times with that nebulous genre he wrote these before that term was coined. This is a different take on history and on the academy. I regularly give copies of this one to my academic friends to keep them from getting stagnated by the university system. Essential reading. Comment Permalink
William Irwin Thompson is one of the truly great minds of our time. These two early works (which were originally published separately) are the perfect introduction to Thompson's opus. While some of the pop culture references may seem dated, passed over by events, the basic world view presented here remains valid.
Thompson, riding on the shoulders of such as Jean Gebser and Marshall McLuhan, illuminates the transitional period we are undergoing, as we move out of the modern era into ... whatever is coming -- we don't really know yet, but the so-called "postmodern" isn't the future, it's just a replay of isolated elements of the modern. Thompson sees signs of one possible future in the emerging planetary consciousness where thinking globally while acting locally is more than a pop phrase but a new way of perceiving our oneness with a sacred world.
Thompson looks at signposts all over the planet which, taken individually might seems interesting, but taken together begin to form a picture that inspires either hope or dread, depending on your attachment to the prevailing consciousness. (You'll have to read his more recent books to get his take on capitalism's latest phase of globalization.) I won't give any more away as I don't wish to spoil the intellectual feast that awaits the reader.
I urge anyone interested in the history of ideas and in understanding the changes taking place in the world around us to read Thompson, starting with this publication. Then work your way through the rest of his books. It's a journey that can change your worldview and your life. Comment Permalink
This is one of those few intellectual works that can truely change one's understanding of how things work. A profound analysis of historical change that presents both models of change and societal models. Comment Permalink › See all 3 customer reviews 7:31 AM