An impassioned argument for a contemporary liberalism in the new millennium
“One of Gray’s virtues is brevity; another is briskness, and a third is clarity.” —Alan Ryan, The New York Review of Books
Following on the heels of the widely hailed False Dawn, this new work by John Gray, &;ldquo;one of Britain’s leading intellectuals” (The Wall Street Journal), offers a thoughtful and provocative analysis of the failure of classical liberalism to keep up with the complex political realities of today’s increasingly divided world.
Two Faces of Liberalism argues that, from its inception, liberalism contained two contradictory philosophies of tolerance. In one, it advanced the enlightenment project of a universal civilization. In the other, it framed terms for peaceful coexistence between warring communities and different ways of life. Each of these liberal ideals of toleration, developed when a single worldview dominated society, has many historic achievements to its credit. But how relevant is traditional liberalism in a world where Kosovo represents the collapse of the spirit of cohabitation?
In a spirited attack on today’s liberal orthodoxies, Gray argues that establishing a modus vivendi between different cultures and regimes should be at the heart of contemporary liberalism. In this major contribution to political theory, Gray proposes a new framework for liberal thought that addresses these burning issues.