Review: Unto This Last and Other Writings

30 Oct

Unto This Last and Other Writings
Unto This Last and Other Writings by John Ruskin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is Ruskin at his best. The four chapters are very organised, he masterly refuted economic theories and typically tried to add the human factor and the human value to the economic equation. The book is a credit for a highly acclaimed art critic, who very easily, it seems, criticised economic theories and made it look as though he could really criticise anything and add valuable opinions to every street of life.

It is no wonder he got attacked in an age when capitalism was at its most vicious peak in England. I wish he had enough confidence to complete it though. He had his own printing house, so it was only a matter of confidence that stood between him and the unwritten part of the book, and what was planned to be serialised could have easily joined the rest of the essays in the union of a printer’s spine.

My main reservation on the book is its mythical dimension. Ruskin, it seems, is never able to detach himself fully from the mythical world that runs in his brain. Even when he is discussing theories of economics and application of commerce, refuting political economists and trade experts, the mythical element has to still come up. He couldn’t help it though, if this was his frame of mind

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