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Memoirs of a Superfluous Man

Charles D. Aring, M.D.
Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(4):500-501. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620160126032.
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Just as there have been significant teachers in the lives of all thoughtful and informed men, so there are significant books whose reading make one better. Nock's Memoirs of a Superfluous Man is one of these. I would go so far as to judge it the most useful book that I have ever read, because its proper use has substituted in many ways for the classical education that I did not get in school. This is sufficient reason for a review of a book about to round out its second decade.

Albert Jay Nock (1872-1945), author, editor, educator, humanist, and literary philosopher was a prolific writer of essays. For four years he was the Editor of one of the greatest of American periodicals, the short-lived journal The Freeman. He published perhaps a dozen volumes culminating in the Memoirs, his magnum opus. Nock's learning was prodigious; his literary ken extraordinary. It


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