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Enlightenment's Wake: Politics and Culture at the Close of the Modern Age Hardcover – 19 Oct 1995

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (19 Oct 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415124751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415124751
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,168,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

JOHN GRAY is Emeritus Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement and the author of over a dozen books, including Heresies and the bestselling Straw Dogs. False Dawn has been translated into sixteen languages.

Product Description

About 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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It is a commonplace that political philosophy was reborn in 1971. Read the first page
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Feb 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a gem, and a must-read for anyone with either a personal or professional interest in politics, philosophy or economics. Gray argues very persuasively against what he claims have been the negative effects of the Enlightenment project upon contemporary political and philosophical thought, and his particular brand of postliberalism leads him, towards the end of the book, to embrace what he calls 'radical pluralism'. Gray proves an able (and sometimes scathing) critic of the liberal intellectual tradition, and the first part of Enlightenment's Wake represents a kind of summary of liberalism's flaws. Ultimately, Gray regards liberalism as a kind of political and intellectual imperialism - and this is certainly borne out by his frequent references to contemporary cultures which in Gray's view function well without adopting liberalism as their ideological orthodoxy. This book is eminently readable, and is certain to be appreciated by anyone who has enjoyed the writings of Alasdair MacIntyre and other postliberal writers. Gray contributes to that tradition of postmodern critique, but also forges a radical response to liberals from Rawls to Raz which is all his own. I can't recommend this book highly enough!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This work is a must read for anyone interested in the future of the west. 22 Jun 2009
By Patrick J. Rabb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I first encountered John Gray and his philosophical views in the special features portion of the movie Children of Men based on the book Children of Men by P.D. James and directed by Alfonso Cuaron. John Gray was making a startling claim about the future of the west and philosophy that held my mind captive until I decided to research his work and thought. I decided to first read Enlightenments Wake because I had grappled with other works on the Enlightenment and what it meant for the modern world. I discovered that there are some provocative and controversial claims made in the work that is edifying, however I did feel that Gray made a pedantic show of his clearly elite education. The reading was at time very difficult due to a writing style that was too loaded down with esoteric philosophical examples and an overloaded sentence stucture that made his points difficult to put together. All in all it is worth reading but is not for the faint of heart or the easily bored reader.
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