By Alain de Botton
This book provides a great overview of the tradition of Western philosophy. Besides providing useful summaries of some of the major thinkers and what their philosophy can do for you in your life, it shows the the connecting threads between thinkers that might seem totally unrelated at first glance. Each chapter gives a brief thumbnail of the biography and thinking of a major philosopher, which is great, but what's really useful about this book is that every chapter addresses a specific concern that everyone faces - such as unpopularity, money, and frustration. Alain's style is warm and gentle, with a hint of detached humor that makes for enjoyable reading. If you've ever thought "I wish I knew more about philosophy", this is the place to start.
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