London: Allen Lane (2009)
Why is the human imagination to blame for the worst crimes of the twentieth century? Why is progress a pernicious myth? Why is contemporary atheism just a hangover from Christian faith? John Gray, author of Straw Dogsand Black Mass, is one of the most original and iconoclastic thinkers of our time. In this pugnacious and brilliantly readable collection of essays from across his career, he smashes through humanity's most cherished beliefs to overturn our view of the world, and our place in it. 'If humans are different from other animals it is chiefly in being governed by myths, which are not creations of the will but creatures of the imagination.' 'No traditional myth is as untruthful as the modern myth of progress. All prevailing philosophies embody the fiction that human life can be altered at will. Better aim for the impossible, they say, than submit to fate. Invariably, the result is a cult of human self-assertion that soon ends in farce.'