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rhetoric and mystification
on June 24, 2014
Wade is capable of rational thought and even incisive, biting, categorical academic criticism (as evidenced by his recent and probably partially justified trashing of Jared Diamond's latest book), but you would not know that from reading this book. It contains some mildly interesting first-hand observations and textbook-type overviews, but every time he comes close to actually make a substantial argument or observation the narrative devolves into grandiose, empty rhetoric and mystification. The fact that these "two Wades" (the rational academic and the rhapsodizing mystifier) exist side-by-side smacks of disingenuousness, if not intellectual dishonesty. If you are planning to retreat from society to your own Walden Pond, this book may be for you; if you have a job and interact with people at some point, it will likely lack relevance.