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Five Moral Pieces
by Umberto Eco
ISBN 0156013258 / 9780156013253 / 0-15-601325-8
Publisher Mariner Books
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This slim book covers a lot of territory in a little over a hundred pages. Its five essays address everything from warfare to faith to the media, and Umberto Eco insists that they are all linked: "Despite the variety of their themes, they are all ethical in nature, that is to say, they treat of what we ought to do, what we ought not to do, and what we must not do at any cost." Several of his views are provocative. In listing the characteristics of what he calls "Ur-Fascism," for instance, Eco describes many of the beliefs held by modern-day conservatives. He also remarks: "Europe will become a multiracial continent--or a 'colored' one, if you prefer. That's how it will be, whether you like it or not. This meeting (or clash) of cultures could lead to bloodshed, and I believe to a certain extent it will." Fans of Eco's bestselling novels won't necessarily be drawn to Five Moral Pieces, though readers who have enjoyed his nonfiction will want to explore this small collection. --John Miller [via]