John Gray has become one of our liveliest and most influential political philosophers. This current volume is a sequel to his Liberalisms: Essays in Political Philosophy. The earlier book ended on a sceptical note, both in respect of what a post-liberal political philosophy might look like, and with respect to the claims of political philosophy itself.
John Gray's new book gives post-liberal theory a more definite content. It does so by considering particular thinkers in the history of political thought, by criticizing the conventional wisdom, liberal and socialist, of the Western academic class, and most directly by specifying what remains of value in liberalism. The upshot of this line of thought is that we need not regret the failure of foundationalist liberalism, since we have all we need in the historic inheritance of the institutions of civil society. It is to the practice of liberty that these institutions encompass, rather than to empty liberal theory, that we should repair.

part I|69 pages


chapter 1|15 pages

Hobbes and the modern state

chapter 2|14 pages

Santayana and the critique of liberalism

chapter 3|8 pages

Hayek as a conservative

chapter 4|7 pages

Oakeshott as a liberal

chapter 5|17 pages

Buchanan on liberty

chapter 6|6 pages

Berlin's agonistic liberalism

part II|180 pages


chapter 7|12 pages

The system of ruins

chapter 8|5 pages

The delusion of glasnost

chapter 9|9 pages

The academic romance of Marxism

chapter 10|24 pages

Philosophy, science and myth in Marxism

chapter 11|33 pages

Against Cohen on proletarian unfreedom 1

chapter 12|40 pages

Totalitarianism, reform and civil society

chapter 16|7 pages

An epitaph for liberalism

chapter 17|6 pages

The end of history – or of liberalism?

part III|78 pages