Major Thinkers Series
Throughout he academic life Alan has been asking questions about the nature and origins of our individualistic, capitalist, industrial world. In the 1990's he started to examine a number of great thinkers who had devoted their whole lives to trying to answer these questions, from Montesquieu onwards. In each book Alan explores the ways a thinker or thinkers try to understand the birth and growth of the modern world. They have each looked outside their own time and culture to try to find the deeper laws and tendencies, the accidents and patterns, which have governed the development of societies and civilizations. In particular he has been interested to explore the relationship between the life and the work of each thinker, how their experiences and work methods shaped their theoretical contributions.
How to Understand the World
Alan has spent the last sixty years trying to understand the world. He has studied for two doctorates at Oxford and London and travelled through Nepal, Japan and China. Here Alan describes what he have found about asking questions, guessing, testing, assembling evidence, creative writing and the conditions of creativity.