"Gertrude Stein once described Ezra Pound as a "village explainer," which, she said, was fine if you were a village, "and if not, not." Arthur Goldwag, seeing the global village crowded with abstractions, wants to do some explaining of his own. The result is "-Isms and -Ologies," a lexicon of more than 450 enduring truths, cast-off notions, newly minted ideas and historical chimeras, from Abolitionism to Zoroastrianism. . .
". . .Mr. Goldwag manages to keep his erudition lively and his scope wide indeed. Perhaps only the late Mortimer Adler at his top-loftiest could have sallied forth so bravely against the cognitive monsters of collective experience. The subtitle of "-Isms and -Ologies" offers a broad, Adler-like claim: "All the movements, ideologies, and doctrines that have shaped our world."
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