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John Grays I have known

By David Goodhart  

There are two John Grays. There is the pragmatic realist of vaguely centrist views who I sometimes talk to at parties. Then there is another Gray, who writes apocalyptic books about the follies of modernity, and for whom everything is painted in the bleakest of colours. Alas, much of Gray’s political journalism seems to be written by the latter.

I have not read Gray’s new book Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia, sympathetically reviewed by Anthony Dworkin in the new issue of Prospect. Judging by the review, the book contains plenty of Isaiah-Berlinian good sense on utopias,…

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