Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy by William Barrett is a 314-page softcover published by Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc., first published in 1958, this copy published in 1990. The cover is clean. Inside, a price is written in ink on the title page. Otherwise, the pages are clean and unmarked and the binding is tight.
Irrational Man is widely recognized as the finest definition of existentialist philosophy ever written. It is largely responsible for introducing existentialism to America. Barrett speaks eloquently and directly to concerns of the 1990s: a period when the irrational and the absurd are no better integrated than before and when humankind is in even greater danger of destroying its existence without ever understanding the meaning of its existence.
Irrational Man begins by discussing the roots of existentialism in the art and thinking of Augustine, Aquinas, Pascal, Baudelaire, Blake, Dostoevski, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Picasso, Joyce, and Beckett. The heart of the book explains the views of the foremost existentialists--Kierkegaard, Nietzche, Heidegger, and Sartre. The result is a marvelously lucid definition of existentialism and a brilliant interpretation of its impact.