Black Mass

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Anchor Canada
ISBN: 0307374939
Size: 28.56 MB
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Fascinating, enlightening, and epic in scope, Black Mass looks at the historic and modern faces of Utopian ideology: Society’s Holy Grail, but at what price? During the last century global politics was shaped by Utopian projects. Pursuing a dream of a world without evil, powerful states waged war and practised terror on an unprecedented scale. From Germany to Russia to China to Afghanistan, entire societies were destroyed. Utopian ideologies rejected traditional faiths and claimed to be based in science. They were actually secular versions of the myth of Apocalypse–the belief in a world-changing event that brings history, with all its conflicts, to an end. The war in Iraq was the last of these attempts at creating a secular Utopia, promising a new era of democracy and producing blood-soaked anarchy and an emerging theocracy instead. John Gray’s powerful and frightening new book argues that the death of Utopia does not mean peace. Instead it portends the resurgence of ancient myths, now in openly fundamentalist forms. Obscurely mixed with geo-political struggles for the control of natural resources, apocalyptic religion has returned as a major force in global conflict. From the Hardcover edition.

Black Mass

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9781429922982
Size: 32.87 MB
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For the decade that followed the end of the cold war, the world was lulled into a sense that a consumerist, globalized, peaceful future beckoned. The beginning of the twenty-first century has rudely disposed of such ideas—most obviously through 9/11and its aftermath. But just as damaging has been the rise in the West of a belief that a single model of political behavior will become a worldwide norm and that, if necessary, it will be enforced at gunpoint. In Black Mass, celebrated philosopher and critic John Gray explains how utopian ideals have taken on a dangerous significance in the hands of right-wing conservatives and religious zealots. He charts the history of utopianism, from the Reformation through the French Revolution and into the present. And most urgently, he describes how utopian politics have moved from the extremes of the political spectrum into mainstream politics, dominating the administrations of both George W. Bush and Tony Blair, and indeed coming to define the political center. Far from having shaken off discredited ideology, Gray suggests, we are more than ever in its clutches. Black Mass is a truly frightening and challenging work by one of Britain's leading political thinkers.

Black Mass

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0374105987
Size: 73.97 MB
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Offering a powerful critique of utopian politics, a leading British social critic condemns the rise in the West of the belief that a single model of political behavior should become a worldwide norm that should be enforced with military might if necessary, tracing the evolution of utopianism from the Reformation to the present and its implications in terms of global politics and security.

Gray S Anatomy

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141976543
Size: 73.76 MB
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From the author of Straw Dogs, John Gray's Gray's Anatomy is a pugnacious and brilliantly readable collection of essays from across his career. Why is progress a pernicious myth? Why do beliefs that humanity can be improved end in farce or horror? Is atheism a hangover from Christian faith? John Gray, one of the most iconoclastic thinkers of our time, smashes through civilization's most cherished beliefs, overturning our view of the world, and our place in it. 'The most prescient of British public intellectuals' Pankaj Mishra, Financial Times 'Gray has consistently anticipated the shape of things to come ... he teaches us that true humanism is to be found in uncertainty and doubt' Will Self 'Gray's dissection of modern delusion, cant and wishful thinking is to be welcomed in this moment of convulsion ... This is a book to learn from and argue with' Ben Wilson, Literary Review 'A thoroughly enjoyable book ... These essays cover a remarkable range of topics, from Isaiah Berlin to Damien Hirst, from torture to environmentalism. But their unifying theme is that our naïve belief in the idea of progress has turned modern life into a constant round of shadow-boxing' David Runciman, Observer 'Demolishes the theory that we have reached the "end of history", the dogmas of secular liberalism, the weaknesses of financial casino capitalism and the limits of energy-intensive economic growth' Economist John Gray is most recently the acclaimed author of Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals, Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions, Al Qaeda and What It Means To Be Modern and Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia. He is Emeritus Professor of European Thought at the University of London.

Straw Dogs

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1466895756
Size: 47.55 MB
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The British bestseller Straw Dogs is an exciting, radical work of philosophy, which sets out to challenge our most cherished assumptions about what it means to be human. From Plato to Christianity, from the Enlightenment to Nietzsche and Marx, the Western tradition has been based on arrogant and erroneous beliefs about human beings and their place in the world. Philosophies such as liberalism and Marxism think of humankind as a species whose destiny is to transcend natural limits and conquer the Earth. John Gray argues that this belief in human difference is a dangerous illusion and explores how the world and human life look once humanism has been finally abandoned. The result is an exhilarating, sometimes disturbing book that leads the reader to question our deepest-held beliefs. Will Self, in the New Statesman, called Straw Dogs his book of the year: "I read it once, I read it twice and took notes . . . I thought it that good." "Nothing will get you thinking as much as this brilliant book" (Sunday Telegraph).

False Dawn

Author: John Gray
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1459603214
Size: 71.80 MB
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powerful and prophetic challenge to globalization from a former partisan of the New Right. Hailed by Kirkus Reviews as both ''a convincing analysis of an international economy '' and a ''powerful challenge to economic orthodoxy, '' False Dawn shows that the attempt to impose the Anglo-American-style free market on the world will create a disaster, possibly on the scale of Soviet communism. Even America, the supposed flagship of the new civilization, risks moral and social disintegration as it loses ground to other cultures that have never forgotten that the market works best when it is embedded in society. John Gray, well known in the 1980s as an important conservative political thinker, whose writings were relied upon by Margaret Thatcher and the New Right in Britain, has concluded that the conservative agenda is no longer viable. In his examination of the ripple effects of the economic turmoil in Russia and Asia on our collective future, Gray provides one of the most passionate polemics against the utopia of the free market since Carlyle and Marx.

The Immortalization Commission

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9781429953917
Size: 43.12 MB
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A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title At the heart of human experience lies an obsession with the nature of death. Religion, for most of history, has provided an explanation for human life and a vision of what comes after it. But in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such beliefs came under relentless pressure as new ideas—from psychiatry to evolution to communism—seemed to suggest that our fate was now in our own hands: humans could cease to be animals, defeat death, and become immortal. In The Immortalization Commission, the acclaimed political philosopher and critic John Gray takes a brilliant and frightening look at humankind's dangerous striving toward a scientific version of immortality. Probing the parallel faiths of Bolshevik "God-builders," who sought to reshape the planet and psychical researchers, who believed they had evidence of a nonreligious form of life after death, Gray raises fascinating questions about how such beliefs threaten the very nature of what it means to be human. He looks to philosophers, journalists, politicians, charlatans, and mass murderers who all felt driven by a specifically scientific and modern worldview and whose revolt against death resulted in a series of experiments that ravaged whole countries. An urgent examination of Darwin's post-religious legacy, The Immortalization Commission is an important work from "one of Britain's leading public intellectuals" (The Wall Street Journal).

The Silence Of Animals

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0374229171
Size: 74.19 MB
Format: PDF
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A sophisticated investigation into the persistence of myth in the modern world draws on a wide range of memoirs, poems, fiction and philosophy to explore how the human imagination is compelled by hardship into worlds beyond real experience. By the author of Straw Dogs.

Al Qaeda And What It Means To Be Modern

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 0571265529
Size: 22.69 MB
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'The suicide warriors who attacked Washington and New York on September 11th, 2001, did more than kill thousands of civilians and demolish the World Trade Center. They destroyed the West's ruling myth.' So John Gray begins this short, powerful book on the belief that has dominated our minds for a century and a half - the idea that we are all, more or less, becoming modern and that as we become modern we will become more alike, and at the same time more familiar and more reasonable. Nothing could be further from the truth, Gray argues. Al Qaeda is a product of modernity and of globalisation, and it will not be the last group to use the products of the modern world in its own monstrous way. Gray pulls up by the roots the myth that the human condition can be remade by science and progress or political engineering. He describes with mordant irony the rise of Positivists, the strange sect that put science and technology at the centre of the cult and developed a religion of humanity. Through their influence on economists, politicians and biologists, they still powerfully affect the way we think. Gray looks at the various attempts to remake humanity, from the Bolshevik and Nazi disasters to the utopian experiments of modern radical Islam and the dreams of the prophets of globalisation. And he gives a scathing account of the real sources of conflict in the world, of American power and its illusions, and of the ways in which cultures will resist the reshaping we might wish on them.

Enlightenment S Wake

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134097050
Size: 43.25 MB
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John Gray is the bestselling author of such books as Straw Dogs and Al Qaeda and What it Means to be Modern which brought a mainstream readership to a man who was already one of the UK's most well respected thinkers and political theorists. Gray wrote Enlightenment’s Wake in 1995 – six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and six years before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Turning his back on neoliberalism at exactly the moment that its advocates were in their pomp, trumpeting 'the end of history' and the supposedly unstoppable spread of liberal values across the globe, Gray’s was a lone voice of scepticism. The thinking he criticised here would lead ultimately to the invasion of Iraq. Today, its folly might seem obvious to all, but as this edition of Enlightenment’s Wake shows, John Gray has been trying to warn us for some fifteen years – the rest of us are only now catching up with him.