History of Western Philosophy
"Its Connection With Political & Social Circumstances".
Bertrand Russell is a wonderful philosopher and author, and this is the classic introduction to what we call Western philosophy. His range of knowledge is vast, his insight into the great philosophers is excellent, and at times his wit is wonderfully understated.
I would recommend this book, as the history of thoughts reveals something about the processes of history that have led to ourselves. When thinking about the great thinkers of the past who have believed such ridiculous things, we can see how long humanity has struggled with its own limitations. The people of most times in history have believed things, often based their entire life upon things, that we know today with the perfect science of hindsight to be completely baseless. This is a message from the ages to us all, just how important doubt needs to be integrated into our own thinking, without paralysing us into inaction.
Russell's thought is not dry and academic, he doesn't pull his punches, and I can't say the book left me with much respect for any philosopher before relatively modern times. It did however leave me with a profound respect for Bertrand Russell, and I would highly recommend this or any other of his writings.