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The Praise of Folly (Great Minds)
ISBN 0879758856 / 9780879758851 / 0-87975-885-6
Publisher Prometheus Books
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In the tradition of "fool literature" produced by the ferment of new ideas that directly preceded the Protestant Reformation, Dutch priest, humanist, and scholar Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) composed The Praise of Folly in 1509. Under Folly's mask, Erasmus boldly attacked the abuses of church and state, and pilloried the faults of those he saw around him: idle superstition, pedantry, religious hypocrisy, and human foolishness. In this elegant translation from the Latin by John Wilson, the reader can savor a great work of satire, which, in the classical tradition, chastises human beings for their follies and excesses, not with a rod but with a smile. [via]