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The reactionary progressive

To the right, he is an apostate; to the left, a sinner who repented. Anthony Dworkin argues that John Gray's intellectual journey is more complex: he is a progressive who does not believe in progress

By Anthony Dworkin   April 1998

John Gray occupies a unique position in British intellectual life. He is a serious academic who writes widely on the political issues of the day; a broadsheet polemicist who understands the philosophical foundations of policy debates. His recent move to London as professor of European thought at the London School of Economics is likely to raise his already high profile. But Gray’s influence does not come simply from his role as a public intellectual-a stance common abroad, though unusual here. The way that the evolution of his thought has both tracked and foreshadowed the shifting concerns of British politics gives…

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