Enlightenment's Wake: Politics and Culture at the Close of the Modern Age

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Overview

Now in paperback, Enlightenment's Wake stakes out the elements of John Gray's new position. He argues that all schools of contemporary political thought are variations on the Enlightenment Project - the Westernizing project of a universal civilization - and that this Enlightenment Project has proved self-undermining and is now exhausted. Fresh thought is needed on the dilemmas of the late modern age.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
For readers familiar with Gray's previous works it may come as a surprise that he rejects conservatism in this latest critique, as well as liberalism, though further developing the seeds of a cooperative "green" approach to social politics. Gray's arguments rest in the slaying of Enlightenment thinking that continues to shape contemporary thought on the right and left, and which, he claims, undermines new, necessary alternatives. Gray advocates a post post-modern attitude, moving from theoretical criticism to implementation of a decentralized cultural cooperation and rejection of the traditional heritage of Western cultural imperialism as "the project of a universal civilization." Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

'Gray is one of our best social and political theorists ... This powerful and radical work opens as many doors as it closes.' - New Statesman

'Gray is a clever and energetic political theorist in the analytical mode. He is also dauntingly well-read and up-to-date.' - Guardian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415163354
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

John Gray is a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. He has been visiting professor at Harvard, Yale and Tulane universities.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
1 Against the new liberalism 1
2 Notes toward a definition of the political thought of Tlon 11
3 Toleration: a post-liberal perspective 18
4 Enlightenment, illusion and the fall of the Soviet state 31
5 The post-communist societies in transition 34
6 Agnostic liberalism 64
7 The undoing of conservatism 87
8 After the new liberalism 120
9 From post-liberalism to pluralism 131
10 Enlightenment's wake 144
Notes 185
Index 196
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