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Cambridge author releases final instalment of trilogy

Dr Phillip Brown with his new book The Mountain Dwellers Pic- Richard Marsham
Dr Phillip Brown with his new book The Mountain Dwellers Pic- Richard Marsham

Cambridge author Dr Phillip Brown releases the final instalment in his trilogy next month, The Mountain Dwellers.

The follow-up to The Gods of Our Time and Dreams and Illusions Revisited is to be launched at a special event at Heffers Bookstore on Trinity Street on Tuesday, September 26, from 6.30-8pm.

Published by Arena Books, this detailed work of non-fiction deals with fundamental issues of socio-political importance, making them as accessible as possible.

Phillip said: “I came to Cambridge to do a PhD in philosophy at St John’s College and after completing that, I stayed in Cambridge and recently, as a response to my mother’s death, I decided to write a book called The Gods of Our Time – that’s the first in the trilogy.”

He continued: “My mother died from complications of Alzheimer’s; she didn’t know what was going on. But society was moving in such a way that it would have been uncomfortable for her, had she been in her right mind – she would have criticised many aspects of society, as we all do.

“I wanted to try to point out what changes have occurred and why they may be good and why they may be bad, especially the latter.”

Phillip penned Dreams and Illusions Revisited partly to elaborate on the points he made in his first book. The third then leads on from that. “The point is that I’m looking at various strands, for example education – it is said to be a preparation for life, but very often educational institutions are no more than job factories.

“So we should be asking ourselves questions about what education is, or should mean, where the emphasis should be – not merely on suiting people for jobs but preparing them for a better life.”

Another theme is that of political correctness.

“I feel political correctness to be an idea which perhaps has decent and well-meaning roots,” suggested Phillip, “but can be taken far too far.

“The basic motivation for all three books is to provide some food for thought, and hopefully to provoke people into asking questions and criticising what’s going on.”

Phillip added: “Another strand is mediocrity. It has always been with us, and perhaps it should be because otherwise we’d have no contrast between what is of poor quality and what is of good quality.

“Nevertheless, when mediocrity dominates, then the trouble can start.”

The Mountain Dwellers also explores the work of English philosopher, political economist and civil servant John Stuart Mill and his 1859 book, On Liberty.

Phillip concluded: “It’s a reassertion and re-examination of what I hope we in this country consider to be values worth upholding and fighting for.

“I think they have become hidden over time and they are in grave danger – I think they are always in grave danger.

“I think we have a duty to ourselves and to the values that we say we uphold to think critically about what is happening and to safeguard what we think we hold dear.

“I’m talking about democracy, democratic rights, attitudes towards people, respect and tolerance, certainly. But of course intolerance of intolerance as well.

“The theme running through it all is the death of my mother, which is as I wanted it to be – as I would imagine what she would say in response to these different strands that I’ve been referring to.”

The launch will include a wine reception. Anyone wishing to attend should register online at bit.ly/2uCHeBX.


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