By John Gray
A Globe and Mail most sensible Books of the yr 2011 Title
At the guts of human adventure lies an obsession with the character of dying. faith, for many of heritage, has supplied an evidence for human existence and a imaginative and prescient of what comes after it. yet within the past due 19th and early 20th centuries, such ideals got here lower than relentless strain as new ideas―from psychiatry to evolution to communism―seemed to indicate that our destiny used to be now in our personal arms: people might stop to be animals, defeat dying, and develop into immortal.
In The Immortalization Commission, the acclaimed political thinker and critic John grey takes an excellent and scary examine humankind's harmful striving towards a systematic model of immortality. Probing the parallel faiths of Bolshevik "God-builders," who sought to reshape the planet and psychical researchers, who believed they'd proof of a nonreligious kind of existence after demise, grey increases attention-grabbing questions on how such ideals threaten the very nature of what it potential to be human. He appears to be like to philosophers, reporters, politicians, charlatans, and mass murderers who all felt pushed via a particularly medical and smooth worldview and whose rebel opposed to dying ended in a sequence of experiments that ravaged complete international locations.
An pressing exam of Darwin's post-religious legacy, The Immortalization fee is an incredible paintings from "one of Britain's best public intellectuals" (The Wall highway Journal).