Books: A Chaos of Clarity

VOLTAIRE by Theodore Besterman. 637 pages. Harcourf, Brace & World. $12.50.

What can the Age of Reason possibly have to say to the Age of Aquarius? Certainly Voltaire, with his brisk faith that enlightened common sense could solve all problems, is hardly the voice to which we tune our orgiastic electric guitars. Quite the contrary. Emancipated from religious "superstition," living in a world where science is the final arbiter, we have inherited the pragmatist's Utopia that Voltaire more or less prescribed—and thanks just the same, we know all too accurately the price we...

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