The Power of Words

The Power of Words

Summary

'There are certain words which possess, in themselves, when properly used, a virtue which illumines and lifts up towards the good'

The philosopher and activist Simone Weil was one of the most courageous thinkers of the twentieth century. Here she writes, with honesty and moral clarity, about the manipulation of language by the powerful, the obligations of individuals to one another and the needs - for order, equality, liberty and truth - that make us human.

One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our world today, from anarchists to stoics, feminists to prophets, satirists to Zen Buddhists.

About the author

Simone Weil

Simone Weil (1909-43) was a French political activist, mystic, and a singular figure in French philosophy. She studied at the elite École Normale Supérieure, obtained her agrégation (teaching diploma) in philosophy in 1931, worked at Renault from 1934 to 1935, enlisted in the International Brigades in 1936 and worked as a farm labourer in 1941. She left France in 1942 for New York and then London, where she worked for General de Gaulle's Free French movement. Most of her works, published posthumously, consist of some notebooks and a collection of religious essays. They include, in English, Waiting for God (1951), Gravity and Grace (1952), The Need for Roots (1952), Notebooks (2 vol., 1956), Oppression and Liberty (1958), and Selected Essays, 1934-1943 (1962).
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