New Hopes for a Changing World

by Bertrand Russell. Simon and Schuster, $3.00
Family doctor Bertrand Russell sits by the bedside of his old patient. Homo sapiens, and gives him a friendly pep talk on the subject of what ails him and what he can do about it. “I think there is a view of man and his present troubles,” writes Russell, “which can give certainty and hope together with the completest understanding of the . . . maddening doubts that beset modern man. It is my hope to set forth such an outlook . . . in a way that shall be convincing and overwhelmingly encouraging.” Russell holds that a good many of the world s ills stem, directly or indirectly, from overpopulation. and can most effectively be combated by birth control, lie believes that Lord Keynes has shown us how to solve the problem of the trade cycle, and that now the crucial economic issues are soil conservation and the fair distribution of raw materials. His discussion of “man and himself runs pretty close to the ideas most widely accepted in conteinporary psychiatry.
Russell’s book, in short, is a popularized application of what might be summed up. loosely, as the modernist outlook — in science, economies, psychology, and morals — to man’s immediate problems and perplexities.