Reason. It’s rare to find a historical novel that links two time periods effectively, while retaining the complexity and depth of each. Such a rare find is Irvin Yalom’s latest novel, The Spinoza Problem. There are two protagonists: philosopher Bento Spinoza in 17th century Holland, and Alfred Rosenberg in Nazi Germany. The Spinoza problem is raised out of Rosenberg’s anti-Semitic perspective: how could this Jew from Amsterdam have written works revered by Goethe, the greatest of German thinkers? Yalom uses the fictional Rosenberg to illuminate the philosophy of Spinoza and provide an entertaining way of learning to those readers who enjoy historical fiction.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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