John Gray is now established as one of the UK's leading political thinkers. For over a decade he has been asssociated with the ideas and think-tanks of the New Right. In this book he presents both a criticism of the ideological excesses of New Right ideology and a radical critique of the New Right itself, developed from the standpoint of traditional conservatism.
All the major thinkers and themes of the New Right are examined, together with many major issues of current public policy - such as the growth of the underclass, the future of the welfare state and the role of government in education and culture. The author also argues that there are deep affinities between conservative ideology and Green thought. He advances radical proposals for the preservation and renewal of common life for an age in which the ideals of modernism, including continuous economic growth, are decreasingly viable. He expresses his conviction that conservative philosophy will find its future in dissociating itelf from the neo-liberalism that has lately dominated policy, and returning to the task of redefining traditional values.
'An intimidatingly prolific generator of both scholarly and polemical work…The range, clarity and sharpness of his thought place him miles ahead of any other British member of the company of free-market wolves.' - Stephen Howe, New Statesman and Society
'These esssays, sometimes sonorous, sometimes touching, are among the most distinguished analyses of our present condition now on offer.' - Ferninand Mount, Times Literary Supplement
'The great interest of John Gray's work has always consisted of his ability to combine urgent political interests with subtle and up-to-date philosophical skills and a disconcerting eye for the unconventional … his attempt to bring the New Right down to earth is as welcome as it is provocative'. - Jeremy Waldrin, London Review of Books