Reviews

BLACK MASS: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia

Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

Seeing history as a progressive narrative, especially one with a utopian ending, is a practice that has doomed earlier civilizations and threatens our own, argues Gray (European Thought/London School of Economics).Having dealt with the concept of human progress in such previous books as Al Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern (2003), the author sees no reason to revise his core belief: "Human ... Read full review

User reviews

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

The trouble I have with the thesis of Black Mass is that if Hayek and all believe that there is a “Human Nature” of some sort, and I think many modern intellectuals are concluding that after one to three million years on the Savannas, Homo-Erectus slash Homo-Sapiens, do have some loosely evolved nature as Hunter-Gathers, then if thus, so there must be one universal Aristotelian - Thomistic sort of political reality better than another. That is to say, tyranny in Russia may be preferable to democracy in Iraq, but does this sound right? It doesn’t to me even though there is so much I agree with Gray about what he says about human violence and the delusion of progress. Is Bush Jr., an idiotic wind? Bob Dylan would no doubt agreed, but the thing is: even if there is no teleological reality to history, still, there might be a reason why Popper defines democracy as a preferable system because we can fire the boss without violence. That’s a pretty important difference. Sometimes you can try to be so objective that you forget that one value, (for instance, peace) might be superior to another (i.e., war). Well that sounds naive. However, I just can’t imagine that a closed society is ever an improvement on self-criticism, pluralism, democracy, tolerance, atheism and the ideals of the West. 

Review: Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia

User Review  - Faine Greenwood - Goodreads

Very disturbing, mostly because it's rather convincing. I keep privately referring to it as I read the news. Read full review

Review: Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia

User Review  - Mike - Goodreads

His thesis is clear and he sticks to the point. Even amidst the maze of political ideologies he describes and gives the histories of, he makes it back to the central theme of the dangers of Utopian ... Read full review

Review: Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia

User Review  - David - Goodreads

To me, this is Gray's best work. Forceful, eloquent and humorous, Gray is a pleasure to read. His discussion of millenarianism and its modern manifestations in both religious and atheistic guises is ... Read full review

User ratings

5 stars
7
4 stars
2
3 stars
2
2 stars
1
1 star
0

All reviews - 12
2 stars - 0
1 star - 0

All reviews - 12

All reviews - 12
Kirkus - 1