John Gray is the New Statesman’s lead book reviewer. His latest book is The Soul of the Marionette: A Short Enquiry into Human Freedom.
Insanity was "a disease of civilisation".
John Gray reviews Greg Garrett’s Entertaining Judgement: the Afterlife in Popular Imagination.
For all their lapses, the Labour leaders of the past had a firmer grasp of reality than their contemporary counterparts.
From jealousy to cowardice to greed, the power of vices is to inspire virtue.
The weird realism that runs through Lovecraft’s writings undermines any belief system – religious or humanist – in which the human mind is the centre of the universe.
His atheism is its own kind of narrow religion.
From the Inquisition to Isis, religion is blamed for brutality. But violence is a secular creed too.
With consummate skill and subtlety John Williams not only brings Ancient Rome and the founder of its empire alive, but also shows how this alien world can illuminate our lives today.
The rise of Nazism ended Stefan Zweig’s career as a European writer and led him ultimately to take his own life. Now he is enjoying an unexpected revival.
If you cannot conceive of humanity from an area of knowledge outside science, what reason could there be for thinking that one and only one system of values is peculiarly human?
As Brexit looms, the government needs scrutiny. We'll provide it.