Penguin £10.99 (481pp) £9.89 (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Gray's Anatomy, By John Gray
Friday 26 March 2010
In spite of his brief career as a "New Right" philosopher in the Thatcher era, John Gray has always held much more appeal for the thoughtful liberal-left.
A spectre at the liberal feast, a mocking reminder of frailty behind the smug triumph of reform, he has over a shelf-full of incisive books shown progressives that "politics is only a small part of human existence, and the human animal only a very small part of the world".
Packed with forceful ideas and necessary heresies, this primer from three decades of writing will revive the respect of existing admirers and should recruit many more.
Gray's scepticism about human nature and all the dreams of Enlightenment – socialist, capitalist and secularist alike – is a vital corrective to Utopians of all sorts. "A little realism would surely be useful": this book, with passion and eloquence, delivers it in bulk.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food