In Praise of Failure: Four Lessons in Humility

Product Details
$29.95  $27.85
Harvard University Press
Publish Date
5.74 X 8.51 X 1.0 inches | 0.97 pounds

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About the Author
Costica Bradatan is author of Dying for Ideas: The Dangerous Lives of the Philosophers and coeditor of The God Beat. A contributor to the New York Times, Aeon, Commonweal, the Times Literary Supplement, and the New Statesman and Religion/Philosophy Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books, he is Professor of Humanities in the Honors College at Texas Tech University and Honorary Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of Queensland in Australia. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages.
I have nothing but praise for this revealing and riveting, probing and provocative book. Bradatan has succeeded in reminding us why failure is not only inevitable, but, if viewed properly, so very vital. A brilliant tour de force.--Robert Zaretsky, author of The Subversive Simone Weil: A Life in Five Ideas
A belletrist following in the footsteps of Walter Benjamin and Susan Sontag, Costica Bradatan exhibits, yet again, that he is an original thinker of real merit.--James Miller, author of Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche
In Praise of Failure takes a set of corrosively prophetic lives and makes them new again through a compelling, cross-cutting, swift, and entirely original mode of narration. Costica Bradatan writes with the same daring, the same interpretive anger that made his subjects notorious in their own day for choosing failure over what their respective worlds counted as success. A gripping read, start to finish.--Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography
Provocative, stimulating, wise--the book that our success-obsessed age needs to read.--Tom Holland, author of Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World
In this deeply inspiring book, Costica Bradatan invites us to humble up and embrace the fact that we are all prone to failure. But the real lesson is that this embrace is a first step on a long journey toward self-transformation and growth. We all fail, but only the wise understand that their imperfections are what make them whole.--Marcelo Gleiser, author of The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning
With eloquent passion--and compassion--Costica Bradatan puts fear of failure at the heart of human existence, yesterday, now, and forever, from the failures that frustrate our daily existence to the ultimate failure that is death. Weaving together the life and work of such disparate souls as Simone Weil, Seneca, Gandhi, E. M. Cioran, and Yukio Mishima, he reminds us why our fellow humans have always ascribed to the mad, the misfits, and those on the verge of death an uncanny capacity for second sight. A unique, insightful meditation on the essential questions of human existence that aims to heal as well as to provoke.--Ingrid Rowland, coauthor of The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art
The ideas are boldly counterintuitive, and the illuminating historical examples complicate what it means to succeed. This is, ironically enough, a triumph.-- "Publishers Weekly" (10/21/2022 12:00:00 AM)
Bradatan, a philosopher, writes with elegance and wit, his every thought and sentence slipping smoothly into the next...I was absorbed by Bradatan's book even--or especially--when I felt uncomfortable with its implications.--Jennifer Szalai "New York Times" (12/28/2022 12:00:00 AM)
Bradatan wears his erudition lightly. He is a pleasure to read, and his prose conveys a happy resilience in the face of life's inevitable contradictions. His lessons in humility remind us that the pursuit of success is often motivated by the dread of failure--and that our attempts to create things are often driven by an avoidance of our mortality.--Michael S. Roth "Washington Post" (12/28/2022 12:00:00 AM)