Strangers Drowning: Voyages to the Brink of Moral Extremity by Larissa MacFarquhar (Allen Lane, £20)
Close friendships, Mahatma Gandhi wrote, are dangerous. The good man “is the friend of all living things,” not of anyone or anything in particular. Reviewing Gandhi’s autobiography, George Orwell observed that this must be “unquestionably true” if, as the Mahatma did, one professes “faith in humanity.” But for most ordinary people, “love means nothing if it does not mean loving some people more than others.”
Orwell was famously intolerant of cranks and do-gooders, but you…
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