Books: What Did Shaw Believe?

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Critic Bentley reconciles the Shavian contradictions by the simple device of interpreting Shaw's views—especially the less defensible ones—as mere exaggerations designed to shock people into thought. Thus Shaw's apologies for 20th Century dictators are supposed to have been intended merely to arouse complacent liberals. This method can be used to exonerate the political-intellectual outrages of almost anyone at almost any time.

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