RUSSELL lived long and did much. He is one of the relatively small number of philosophers whose names are popularly known, and who in their life and work have come to seem emblematic of the great tradition of thought they represent. The reputation Russell enjoyed among his contemporaries rested on the multiplicity of contributions he made - often highly controversial ones - to social, moral, political, and educational debates. But his claim to an enduring fame rests on his outstanding technical contributions to logic and philosophy. In what follows I survey his life's work in both spheres. The aim throughout is to give as clear an account of them as brevity allows. Because this is not the place for detailed evaluation of philosophical arguments, still less of technicalities in mathematical logic, I give most houseroom to exposition, but I venture some discussion also, the themes of which can be pursued by consulting the literature cited in the Further Reading section, which shows the way for anyone who, having paddled in the surf here, might like to go for the swim. However, readers not especially interested in the more technical reaches of logic and philosophy can forgo Chapters 2 and 3, and can concentrate instead on the story of Russell's life and his contributions to public debate, as told in Chapters 1 and 4.
I am grateful to Keith Thomas and the Press's keen-eyed reader for comments, to Ken Blackwell for prompt help and documents from the Russell Archive, and to Alex Orenstein and Ray Monk for related and relevant discussion. My thanks go also to Leena Mukhey for her work on the index.
This is dedicated to Sue - 'dulces dominae Musa Licymniae cantus, me voluit dicere'