“Gray's Black Mass is a bit Molotov cocktail of a publication, blowing up the kinds during which we frequently talk about issues just like the warfare in Iraq and the path of background. Any publication that herds Robespierre, Lenin, radical Islamists and neoconservatives into one conceptual corral does not lack for audacity. whereas grey covers loads of floor, tracing millenarian pondering from early Christianity to the current, he generally units his points of interest at the American neoconservative venture to export free-market capitalism and liberal democracy—at the purpose of a gun if worthwhile . . . the tale line of Black Mass goes like this: Christianity bequeathed to the West the belief of apocalypse, a violent occasion in historical past that transforms every thing and remakes the realm. that concept wormed its method into our DNA, with the intention to communicate, and has been there ever for the reason that . . . grey isn't the first to work out the Iraq warfare as rooted in a naive right-wing utopianism. what is striking is the best way he embeds current political developments in a bigger framework going again to the beginnings of Western tradition . . . [T]he e-book demanding situations and provokes. for many readers, i think, it's going to inform them issues they did not know.” —Fritz Lanham, Houston Chronicle
"A limpidly argued and finely written synthesis of Gray's pondering over the last decade or so considering False Dawn, his very hot and influential research of globalisation. it isn't a cheering paintings, to claim the least, and Gray's conclusions, although by no means exaggerated or overstated, are bleak . . . but the appropriate expression of even the bleakest truths is usually invigorating, and any half-sensible reader will come clear of the ebook soberer or even, possibly, wiser." —John Banville, The Guardian
"Gray is true to scoff on the lost religion in development propounded by way of Enlightenment philosophers . . . grey reminds us approximately extra old and fair myths, which anticipated that our reckless pursuit of data and tool could result in disaster." —Peter Conrad, The Observer
"When the trendy pundits of the age of globalization are as forgotten as those that, within the run-up to global warfare I, anticipated globalization had rendered struggle out of date, John Gray's paintings will nonetheless subject. it really is right now a reproof and an antidote to the reigning wishful considering that makes Voltaire's Dr. Pangloss seem like a realist. Gray's paintings has regularly been approximately keeping apart fact and myth. In Black Mass, grey dissects the best of all political delusions--utopianism--and maps the way, opposed to all expectancies, it has migrated from left to correct, from communism to neo-conservatism. this can be that rarest of items, a necessary book." —David Rieff
“Seeing historical past as a innovative narrative, in particular one with a utopian finishing, is a convention that has doomed past civilizations and threatens our personal, argues grey. Having handled the idea that of human growth in such earlier books as Al Qaeda and What It potential to Be Modern, the writer sees no cause to revise his middle trust: ‘Human
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Counting on their means to divine the reality, they have been convinced they can do with out empirical verification. so far as they have been involved the defectors simply proven what their very own targeted tools had already proven to be actual. The faith-based method of the OSP freed it from the bulky methods of the proven American intelligence organizations. It additionally made the OSP a major objective for strategic deception. The thought kind of occult perception right into a regime or somebody gets rid of the necessity for real inquiry is a deadly foundation for motion. President Bush can have believed that once he met Vladimir Putin in June 2001 he used to be ‘able to get a feeling of his soul’. fifty nine next occasions seem to have altered Mr Bush’s belief and one may need anticipated advancements in post-Saddam Iraq to dent self belief in faith-based intelligence, yet this is often faraway from the case. within the big apple instances in February 2004 the neo-conservative columnist David Brooks renewed the assault on American intelligence equipment, writing, ‘For many years, the USA intelligence group has propagated the parable that it possesses analytical tools that needs to be insulated pristinely from the hurly-burly international of politics. ’ instead of depend on ‘a conference-load of online game theorists or chance evaluate officers’, Brooks broadcasts, ‘When it involves realizing the world’s thugs and menaces … I’d belief a person who has learn a Dostoyevsky novel during the last 5 years. ’60 once more, an esoteric perception into the soul of the regime is gifted as an effective substitute to the arduous research of proof. The neo-conservative concept that it is easy to comprehend terrorist violence by way of studying the novels of Dostoyevsky is entertainingly ironic, when you consider that what Dostoyevsky describes is the mentality of neo-conservatives themselves. Neo-conservatives think a lot of the area because it at present exists is irredeemably undesirable. because the neo-conservative analyst Michael Ledeen ‘wrote quickly after the 11th of September assaults, the ‘war on terror’ is all of 1 piece with the ‘global democratic revolution’: we should always don't have any misgivings approximately our skill to smash tyrannies. it really is what we do top. It comes evidently to us, for we're the simply really progressive nation on the planet, as we now have been for greater than two hundred years. artistic destruction is our heart identify … In different phrases, it's time once more to export the democratic revolution. to people who say it can't be performed, we want in basic terms element to the Eighties, after we led a world democratic revolution that toppled tyrants from Moscow to Johannesburg. sixty one the following a celebrated dictum of the nineteenth-century Russian anarchist Bakunin – ‘The ardour for destruction is an artistic ardour’ – is restated in neo-conservative phrases. Bakunin’s disciple, the divinity pupil Sergey Nechayev, utilized this maxim in his ‘Catechism of a innovative’ (1868), the place he argued that during advancing the revolution the ends justified any ability – together with blackmail and homicide. A 12 months later Nechayev murdered one in every of his comrades for failing to hold out orders.