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The Open Society and Its Enemies

by Karl Popper


A landmark defense of democracy that has been hailed as one of the most important books of the twentieth century

One of the most important books of the twentieth century, The Open Society and Its Enemies is an uncompromising defense of liberal democracy and a powerful attack on the intellectual origins of totalitarianism. An immediate sensation when it was first published, Karl Popper’s monumental achievement has attained legendary status on both the Left and Right. Tracing the roots of an authoritarian tradition represented by Plato, Marx, and Hegel, Popper argues that the spirit of free, critical inquiry that governs scientific investigation should also apply to politics. In a new foreword, George Soros, who was a student of Popper, describes the “revelation” of first reading the book and how it helped inspire his philanthropic Open Society Foundations.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: PhilosophyPolitics & Social Sciences

Reading time: 3134 hours

Recommendations


Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Politician, Activist, and Author

“Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies, first published in 1945. I’d often give this to my politician friends when I was in politics, and now I give it to students. One of the biggest lessons for me from this book is that so many bad ideas that lead to authoritarian consequences begin with good intentions. This is timeless wisdom.”