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.
When I met the late JG Ballard for the first time, around 20 years ago in a Covent Garden restaurant, I found that he embodied everything I admired in his work.
“Before your LSD session, read Siddartha and Steppenwolf," advised Timothy Leary.
If we no longer seek virtue and salvation, we should blame the triumvirate of Machiavelli, Hobbes and Adam Smith.
As the far right rises across Europe, how can liberal democracies confront populist nationalism? New books by Francis Fukuyama and Kwame Anthony Appiah examine the perils of identity politics – but their solutions do not go far enough.
The Russian author turned 15 years in the Gulag into fiction of extraordinary daring. His stories are timely reminders of the human cost of communism.
Douglas Murray’s bestseller The Strange Death of Europe claims mass immigration is to blame for the continent’s “suicide”. But it is hubris, not Islam, that is dismantling the liberal world order.
Reading Aickman’s strange stories is to glimpse a reality you would prefer to forget.
Liberals have consistently misread the present – and their complacency is pushing us into a new authoritarian era.
The fundamentals of Western politics are under threat. So what’s next?
In some ways, the revolutionaries of 1968 helped capitalism flourish.