• Fools, Frauds and Firebrands

  • Thinkers of the New Left
  • By: Roger Scruton
  • Narrated by: Rory Barnett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (120 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $20.99

Buy for $20.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

From one of the leading critics of leftist orientations comes a study of the thinkers who have most influenced the attitudes of the New Left. Beginning with a ruthless analysis of New Leftism and concluding with a critique of the key strands in its thinking, Roger Scruton conducts a reappraisal of such major left-wing thinkers as E. P. Thompson, Ronald Dworkin, R. D. Laing, Jurgen Habermas, Gyorgy Lukacs, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Slavoj Žižek, Ralph Milliband, and Eric Hobsbawm. In addition to assessments of these thinkers' philosophical and political contributions, the book contains a biographical and bibliographical section summarizing their careers and most important writings.

In Fools, Frauds and Firebrands Scruton asks, what does the Left look like today, and how has it evolved? He charts the transfer of grievances, from the working class to women, gays, and immigrants, asks what we can put in the place of radical egalitarianism, and what explains the continued dominance of antinomian attitudes in the intellectual world. Can there be any foundation for resistance to the leftist agenda without religious faith? Writing with great clarity, Scruton delivers a devastating critique of modern left-wing thinking.

©2015 Roger Scruton (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Fools, Frauds and Firebrands

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    94
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    82
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An Explanation of The Politics of 2020

I highly recommend this book to anyone that wishes for a better understanding of the sources of the Chaos, from the 'Left' that has dominated our Politics of the past 12 years and beyond.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Author, Excellent Narrator

Roger Scruton lands many sharp—if not fatal—critiques on the modern, new Left. Conservatives will benefit from his shrewd commentary on Gramsci's false dichotomy. Gramsci presumes the difference between those on the political Left and Right as favoring either communism or fascism, respectively. It is a ploy used by some of today's journalists to demonize conservative perspectives, and yet it is also a regurgitation from the playbook of a Marxist zealot who died 80+ years ago. Confounding figures like Calvin Coolidge, meanwhile, remain absolutely neglected by Gramsci and journalists who follow him. Lukács, another Leftist thinker examined in this book, is every bit as intolerant as Leftists on Twitter imagine conservatives as being. The reader/listener will come across many similarly astute insights into the most hallowed authors of postmodernism.

Liberals would undoubtedly benefit from listening to this book as a way to understand a prominent conservative's serious critiques of the New Left. But the book will also be quite spicy.

Equally wonderful is this audiobook's narrator, Rory Barnett. He masterfully inflects the book's sophisticated prose so that the reader has no trouble following dense passages, such as Scruton's critiques of what he calls the Parisian School of Nonsense. His tone is lively and engaging, making a book critiquing postmodern thought into an enjoyable listen. I will be looking to read more of Scruton, and to listen to more of Rory Barnett.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Deconstructing the New Left

I did not believe this book which was originally released late on 2015 would work well in audio format. I was wrong! The outstanding narration by Rory Barnett works beautifully. Nevertheless, I still prefer it is printed or ebook format. Best of all listen to the audio book while following along with the Kindle version.

This is my second review of a Roger Scruton book this week. FOOLS, FRAUDS AND FIREBRANDS is more difficult reading than How to Be a Conservative but the rewards make the efforts well worthwhile. Socialism, modern leftism, in all of its forms including Communism, Fascism and plain vinella socialism have failed utterly every time they have been tried. One would think that this book would be unnecessary, but the ideas of the new left simply refuse to die. Scruton thoroughly debunks new leftism by taking on and destroying the works of all of the major new left thought leaders.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Simply outstanding

God rest Sir Roger’s soul and bless his memory. Deep reading, deep thinking and razor sharp prose characterize this book, which has been hated by all the right people. It is also marked by sustained commitment to see the best in its targets, whenever it is there to be seen.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fool, et al

Excellent drill down into the post-WWII fever swamp that now passes for contemporary philosophy. Spoiler Alert: No enemies in the left.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best Audible Book I’ve Read so Far

This is the best audio book I have read since subscribing to audible. Reader is fantastic as is the subject matter

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • RL
  • 11-29-20

Disjointed

Decades ago when my dad was trying to teach me an appreciation for classical music, he pointed out several pieces that were extremely difficult to play, demonstrating true virtuosity by the artist. He repeatedly would ask me what I thought until I was able to hit on their common elements. They were masterfully done, but in the attempt to demonstrate skill, the piece had lost all sense of musicality. They were dry and empty collections of only loosely related notes. This book is like that music. It demonstrates a great deal of background and knowledge, but it lacks flow and purpose, other than to demonstrate the author's breadth of knowledge. I can pry out some kind of theme, which I also espouse, but it is very disjointed, jumping like a frog from tidbit to tidbit, each in itself being interesting, but failing to create a compelling message. There are better works in which I may invest my time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing depth given its brevity

Scruton says more with a few sentences than many writers manage in whole chapters, this book is insightful, entertaining and for a reasonably dense subject never falls into a drone.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Deconstructing the Left

Though there is a full on assault of the Left/New Left, there is often a great deal of sympathy and understanding, as well--not agreement, but understanding. Well worth your time wherever your philosophy of life has steered your political positions.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoughtful and Interesting

Fascinating read. Easily the most thought-provoking book I have read since Dikotter's Tragedy of Liberation.