Descartes' Bones by Russell Shorto


"With the fascinating Descartes' Bones, Russell Shorto has produced another compelling intellectual detective story, one that illuminates the present as much as the dusty past."

—Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine

"This is a beguiling book about the architecture of the way we live now. As Russell Shorto points out, Descartes is claimed by both the ferociously secular and the ferociously religious, but the truth is more complicated. The sooner we recognize that the world is too wild to be reduced to glib categorization, Shorto writes, the sooner we may be able to find ways to talk to, rather than yell at, one another."

—Jon Meacham, author of Franklin and Winston and American Gospel

"A fascinating, colorful, and very readable account of early modern ideas and personalities. Shorto has a gift for storytelling. He brings the seventeenth century to life while doing justice to the philosophy."

—Professor Steven Nadler, author of Rembrandt's Jews and Spinoza: A Life

"An oddly enjoyable excursus into Enlightenment history courtesy of René Descartes’s dismember cadaver…[Descartes] hit on the fine formula that since he could think, he therefore was. But there’s much more, and therein is the substance of Shorto’s lively look at Cartesian dualism and its discontents."

Kirkus Reviews

Descartes' Bones

Descartes' Bones

A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason

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