Bertrand Russell

Start Your Free Trial

Write a complete summary Of Bertrand Russell's essay "The Future Of Mankind." 

Expert Answers info

Jason Lulos eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write3,297 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Science

Russell begins his essay, "The Future of Mankind," with three possible scenarios for the future. Note that Russell wrote this essay after World War II and during the rise of the Cold War. (The Cold War defined the antagonism between the Soviet Union, and their allies, and the United States, and their allies. The Cold War followed World War II - 1947 - and lasted until 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union.) 

Given that a third world war, erupting from the Cold War, was one of Russell's greatest concerns, his prospects for the future dealt with the possibility of such a war (atomic, no less) or some way to avoid such a war. If such a war were to occur, Russell supposed the destruction of human life, and possibly all life, on the planet. Atomic bombs and their after-effects (radiation clouds, disease, etc.) would decimate and/or eliminate all life. 

Russell's second scenario is that the world would revert to a state of barbarism. This too could result from a widespread atomic...

(The entire section contains 527 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial