Wittgenstein (who destroyed the foundationsrnof Russell’s work), has a penetratingrnintelligence and vigorous narrative st^’le.rnHe has mastered the enormous amountrnof archival material aird expertly exposesrnthe weaknesses in Russell’s fallacious arguments.rn(He misses one logical flaw,rnhowexer. Russell states: “A hen, whenrnscared by a motor-car, will rush across thernroad in order to be at home, despite thusrnrisking its life, and in like manner, duringrnthe Blitz, I longed to be in England” —rnthough Russell did not rush home fromrnAmerica during the war.) Unfortunately,rnafter working on Bertraud Russell forrnmore than ten years. Monk has succumbedrnto the biographer’.s disease, resentingrnthe subject for eating up his ownrnlife and becoming unremittingly hostilernto liim.rnThe other flaw in this impressive andrnemohonally powerfid biography is thatrnMonk feels obliged to offer a tedious andrnsometimes harsh analysis of every minorrnwork. Monk states that, in Power: A NewrnSocial Analysis, Russell’s “solutions arerntoo pat to be convincing and, in place ofrntheory, he offers, for the most part,rnrhetoric.” But in 19^8, on the eve of war,rnOrwell, who had a keen eye for cant, admiredrnthe book and saw its usefulness.rnHe wrote that Russell,rnlike all liberals, is better at pointingrnout what is desirable than at explainingrnhow to achieve it. [But]rnthe restatement of the obvious isrn[now] the first duty of intelligentrnmen. So long as he and a few othersrnlike him are alive and out ofrnjail, we know that the world is stillrnsane in parts.rnRussell, who saw himself as the “lastrnsurvivor of a bygone age,” ciurninglyrncombined an outmoded persona with arnmodern view of life. His skinny body,rnscrawny neck, crest of white hair, thinrnlips, weak chin, and cur’ed Sherlockianrnpipe became familiar throughout thernworld, hi his stiff high collar and waistcoatrnwith gold watchchain, he resembledrn(though he wore trousers) the WhiternRabbit in Alice in Wonderland.rnHis quaint appearance fascinated listenersrnduring his frequent American lecturerntours —which he hated but undertookrnto support his ever increasingrnfamilies — aird during his controversialrnteaching stints at Chicago, UCLA, andrnCCNY, where he was publicly vilifiedrnand had his appointment revoked.rn(Monk, a Brihsh academic, rather oddlyrnrefers to the University of Harvard and tornHaverfield—instead of Haverford —College.)rnRussell described himself, on tour,rnas a “mental male prostitute” and, whenrnasked about American newspaper interx’iewcrs,rnreplied: “Well, they’re not quiternas bad as the Japs, but that’s as much as Irncan say for them.” His characteristicallyrnUtopian solutions to the ills of the worldrnwere reason, progress, unselfishness, generosity,rnand enlightened self-interest.rnhi the age of Einstein, Russell was ablernto explain difficult technical ideas to therngeneral reader. His intellect tempered byrnflippanc’, his mischievous attacks on conventionalrnnioralih and religion, his rebellionrnagainst authority, both human andrndivine, and his campaign for nuclear disarmamentrn(oN’ercome b’ enthusiasm forrnChe Guevara, he granted an exceptionrnfor Cuba) made him —despite chronicrnmisanthropy—a secular .saint for the rebelliousrnyoung, who chanted; “Thanks tornBert / We’re sHll unhurt.” But when arnboring speaker went on too long during arnpeace conference, Russell loudly whispered,rn”Now is the time to drop thernbomb.”rnMonk moves effortlessly between Russell’srntriumphant public and disastrousrnprivate life. Russell inherited an earldomrn(but not the wealth that went with it) and,rnwhen convivially inebriated, remarked:rn”I’m as drunk as a lord. But it doesn’trnmatter since I am a lord!” He also got arnfellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge,rngave the preshgious Reith Lecturesrnon the BBC, was awarded the Orderrnof Merit, and (like Mommsen,rnBergson, and Churchill) won the NobelrnPrize for Literature for his elegant prose.rnLike Edniimd Wilson, Hemingway,rnand Bogart, Russell had four wives: Alys,rnDora, Patricia (“Peter”), and Edith. Hisrnsexual entanglements were as absurdlyrncomplicated as those in A MidsummerrnNight’s Dream or the novels of Iris Murdoch.rnWhile married to Russell (thenrnimpotent), Dora had a child by GriffinrnBarry, who also had a homosexual affairrnwith Paul Gillard, with whom Dora wasrnin love. At the same hme, the tolerantrnRussell, after completing his tract Marriagernand Morals, slept with his children’srngoverness, “Peter,” an Oxford undergraduatern40 years his junior.rnAfter marrying Russell, the ill-temperedrnand suicidal Peter became jealousrnof his supposed affair widi his old flamernColette Malleson, though he was actuallyrnsleeping with a married Norwegianrnwoman. Peter fell in love with a homosexualrnSpanish mystic and hoped to consummaterntheir passion on Good Eriday,rnbut he told her he preferred to go tornMass. While Russell and his fourth wifernreared the children of his schizophrenicrnson, John, from whom he was estrangedrnbecause of his intense hatred of John’srnmother, Dora, John’s equally schizophrenicrnex-wife lived with her latest loverrnin Wales, within walking distance of Russell’srnhouse, but refused to have anythingrnto do with her three little girls.rnMonk bluntly maintains that Russellrn”destroyed the life of his son.” ‘I’houghrnhis educahonal theories certainly had arnnegative effect on John, Ru.ssell, like Othello,rn”loved not wisely but too well.” AsrnErasmus wrote in In Praise ofFollv: “VOYrnthese kind of A-len that are so given up tornthe Study of Wisdom are in general mostrnunfortunate, but chiefly in their children.”rnMonk dramatically ends thernbook, five years after Russell’s death, withrnthe fiery self-immolation of Lucy, thernyoungest and brightest of John’s girls.rnThough Monk holds Russell responsiblernfor this tragedy, the blame clearly restsrnwith her insane parents, who were unablernto take care of her and passed onrntheir madness to their daughter.rnRussell quarreled not only with hisrnwives and children, but with D.H. Lawrencernand T.S. Eliot, Whitehead andrnWittgenstein. Eliot, whose mentally disturbedrnwife had once been Russell’s mistress,rnthought of him “as the most sadlyrnfrustrated man 1 know. But very highly endowedrn—so much more so than Whiteheadrnwho has made a better career.”rnOther old friends were equallv disappointedrnwith his life and character. VirginiarnWoolf, no stranger to madness,rnobserved:rnOne does not like him. Yet he isrnbrilliant of course; perfectly outspoken;rnfamiliar. He has not muchrnbody of character. “Phis luminousrnvigorous mind seems attached to arnflimsy little car. His adventuresrnwith his wives diminish his importance.rnMost perceptive of all was Russell’s oldrnSocialist colleague, Beatrice Webb.rnWhile praising poor Bertie’s “wit andrnsubtlety, his literary skill and personalrncharm,” she felt he had wasted his astonishingrngifts, “made a mess of his life andrnknows it.” Russell’s life reveals that, despiternall his intelligence, he was emotion-rn32/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn