The Open Society and Its Enemies (Routledge Classics)

 ‘If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men.’

- Karl Popper, from the Preface

Written in political exile during the Second World War and first published in two volumes in 1945, Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies is one of the most influential books of all time. Hailed by Bertrand Russell as a ‘vigorous and profound defence of democracy’, its now legendary attack on the philosophies of Plato, Hegel and Marx exposed the dangers inherent in centrally planned political systems and through underground editions become an inspiration to lovers of freedom living under communism in Eastern Europe.

Popper’s highly accessible style, his erudite and lucid explanations of the thoughts of great philosophers and the recent resurgence of totalitarian regimes around the world are just three of the reasons for the enduring popularity of The Open Society and Its Enemies and why it demands to be read today and in years to come.

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By Hadrian (The United States) · ★★★☆☆ · May 20, 2013
This is a deeply contradictory book, which is at times wise, measured, and methodological, and yet at other times deeply flawed and irritating.

This was a book incubated during the Second World War, an epistemological look at the origins of totalitarianism. He claims that the enemies of the 'open... ...more
By Jim (Shelburne Falls, MA) · ★★★★☆ · February 23, 2012

That was a book I did not think I was going to get through. Some parts I just really comprehended easily, some I had to go back and reread. I'm sure part of the reason is my complete lack of knowledge, beyond pop culture snippets, of that historical era. But I do have this to say, that I agr... ...more
By Hamed (Germany) · ★★★★★ · March 18, 2015
کتابی ارزشمند از یک فیلسوف تحلیلی با ترجمهای عالی به فارسی. کارل پوپر در این کتاب که در اثنای جنگ جهانی دوم نوشته شد به ریشهیابی دو فاجعه سیاسی در قرن بیستم پرداخته است: . ظهور فاشیسم هیتلری . ظهور مارکسیسم استالینی.
نویسنده ریشه این دو فاجعه را در افکار نژادپرستانه افلاطون میبیند و مفصلا در مورد... ...more
By Zanna (London (originally Lincolnshire), The United Kingdom) · ★★★★☆ · October 17, 2013
Popper mounts many-faceted defence of liberal democracy and its underpinnings against what he sees as attacks on it by Plato/Aristotle (essentialist, authoritarian) and Marx/Engels (historicist). These great tidy, totalising theories of society stand against the messy muddling through of democrac... ...more
By Ehsan (tehran, Iran) · ★★★★★ · December 05, 2007
Sir Karl Raimund Popper is counted among the most influential philosophers of science of the 20th century, and also wrote extensively on social and political philosophy. In The "Open Society and Its Enemies", Popper developed a critique of historicism and a defence of the 'Open Society' and libe... ...more
By Alexander (Russian Federation) · ★★★★★ · March 24, 2015
I read it in Russian. Translation is really good: there is a special chapter written by translators on how they did their job. They met Popper to find out if their understanding is correct, they performed a great job on making references to Russian translations of books and articles which Popper... ...more
By Arash · April 01, 2015
به حتم خواندن کتاب بسیار مفید و باارزش خواهد بود اما نویسنده با گرایش و دیدگاه خاصی به افلاطون هگل مارکس پرداخته است. به نظر نمی رسد اصل خود فلسفه افلاطون و به ویژه نظریه مثل و فیلسوف شاه او بخواهد به دیکتاتوری و فاشیست بینجامد. لازم است نگاهی دقیق و موشکافانه به کتاب جمهور ( ودر اصل مصلح عامه) ا... ...more
By Mojtaba (Tehran, 21, Iran) · ★★★★☆ · May 20, 2011
کتابی که برای ایرانیا از نون شب واجبتره ...more
By Guillermojimenezespneo (Monterrey, 19, Mexico) · February 26, 2014
Digamos para empezar que la primera parte (no argumental y lineal) de este libro la dedica Popper a revisionar la filosofía de Platón, Aristóteles, Marx y Hegel y a cada uno le da sus palmetazos. Correcto. De acuerdo en que Hegel ha transmitido su nefasta influencia hasta extremos impensables, so... ...more
By Patrick (Calumet City, IL) · ★★★★★ · July 02, 2013
This set of two books is a philosophical treat. Although I haven't read a lot of philosophy, this book, I believe, is good guidance for me. In it, the author critiques three philosophers, Plato, Hegel and Marx. He shows how each one failed to live up to democratic values.

Socrates, for instance, h... ...more