By Jennifer Reese
March 10, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

Rousseau's Dog

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In Rousseau’s Dog, a delicious little history, David Edmonds and John Eidinow (Wittgenstein’s Poker) dish up a juicy account of the feud between 18th-century philosophers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and David Hume. Titans of the Enlightenment, the two fell out when, on scant evidence, the fiery and paranoid Rousseau — ”the philosopher of human misery” — accused the mild-mannered Hume of secretly undermining him. Hume, worried about his reputation, responded by publishing a vindictive pamphlet that made Hume himself look worse than anything Rousseau could have dreamed up. The bizarre, very public spat — nasty, personal, and unbelievably petty — would make Paris and Nicole blush.

Rousseau's Dog

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