This thought provoking book uncovers a crisis in the political imagination, a wide-spread failure to provide the passionate sense of community "in which our need for belonging can be met." Seeking the answers to fundamental questions, Michael Ignatieff writes vividly both about ideas and about the people who tried to live by them—from Augustine to Bosch, from Rosseau to Simone Weil. Incisive and moving,The Needs of Strangers returns philosophy to its proper place, as a guide to the art of being human.
Praise for The Needs of Strangers
“Ignatieff has invoked the understanding, the wisdom, and the eloquence of some of the seminal thinkers in the Western tradition to help revive a sense of what we are or should be talking about when we talk about the needs of strangers.” —Merle Rubin, Christian Science Monitor
“A very eloquent meditation . . . on what we need to be human and how in our society those 'with resources and those in need remain strangers to each other.'” —Des Christy, The Guardian (London)
“Unusual, beautifully written and profoundly thoughtful.” —Bernard Crick, New Statesman
“Ignatieff writes in urgent prose that even, at times, sounds a little evangelistic; and he will convince many people, in highly readable fashion, that the ideas being discussed really matter, that they are important to argue over; and that passion is admirable, because they do, and they are.” —Salman Rushdie, Manchester Guardian Weekly