This edition is updated with a new foreword and two new chapters of John Gray's writing.
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 long cherished beliefs, overturning our view of the world and our place in it.
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 naive belief in the idea of progress has turned modern life into a constant round of shadow-boxing -- David Runciman * Observer *
A visionary ... one of the most reliably provocative and heterodox voices in British intellectual life today -- Jonathan Derbyshire * New Statesman *
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
Invigorating...elegant, witty, incisive... Gray's assault on Enlightenment ideas of progress is timelier than ever -- John Banville * The Guardian *