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

Overview

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 ...

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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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

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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415424042
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/30/2007
  • Series: Routledge Classics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John Gray is one of the most internationally renowned and widely read political theorists writing today. The best-selling author of such books as Straw Dogs and Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia, he is currently Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics.

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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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