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Book: John Gray-Heresies

6.22.2005

Just finished readaing Heresies by John Gray, a philosopher at LSE. Its a most powerful work of 24 short essays which were commissioned by the newstatesman. The essays date from 2002-2004 and encompass topics from general political theory and ideology through Iraq and terrorism, onto Europe and 21st century politics. Its a lucid and very tough account of the vainities and faith of being either right or left. He goes to town on the ideals of progressives as a faith based culutre.
For many who are supporters to this day of either Marx or Smith then this guy is a very challenging read. Many of my core assumptions re politics were challenged by the reality of his thought and the insight into its motivations. His agruments about the new religion of secularism sournds like a warning to all of us to open our eyes. At the end however i am still erring on the side of striving for better not accepting inequality in its current form etc.
On Iraq and the UK he gives again a lucid and at the time quite prescient account of the motives and potential fallout from iraq.
The beuaty of the book is the short essay style allows him to make a myriad of seemingly unrelated points which certainly challenge world views. Also his work is grounded in history and ideas of historical movement as such the reading is some of the most illuminating ive picked up for a while.
FYI Moved on to one of those new mini penguin jobs; The Economics of Innocent Fraud by J.K. Galbraith. So far its excellent. the only word for it. Buy it now.
RR

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