To quote Pascal is a bit mischievous, but after all he was a contemporary and correspondent of Descartes, not to mention an equally gifted mathematician. And if the former's religious "Joie" is somewhat balanced by the latter's "Cartesian" enthusiasms, this book is a decent exploration of the modernist concept of man as reasoning entity, the consequent question of dualism (mind/body, faith/reason, material/spiritual etc.) this (once again) raises, and other related matters through discussion of various elements of the scientific, philosophical and social implications of Descartes' work and thought. Many interesting characters appear throughout the book from various parts of Europe especially, with Descartes' bones more or less as the "McGuffin" carrying it all along (they're a bit dusty you might say, and neither here nor there, not to mention headless, that's the irony of course). The epilogue ties up the strands of faith and reason rather nicely. Audio version is well read too, easy to follow.