John Gray's The Immortalization Commission: The Strange Quest to Cheat Death raises vital questions about the 'truths' science can offer, the technology we are still exploiting for immortality - and exactly what it means to be human.
At the heart of all human experience lies our obsession with death. For many years, we turned to religion for our answers, but at the turn of the twentieth centuries ideas from evolution and politics seemed to suggest that our lives - and afterlives - were in our own hands.
These ideas would have both trivial and terrible effects, from the nightmares of H. G. Wells's science fiction and the wild, sweeping craze of seances to the murder of millions in the Stalinist terror.
'Our sharpest critic of utopian fantasies skewers the crazed but enduring dream of cheating age, time and death'
Boyd Tonkin, Independent
'Elegant ... He is on to something important regarding the delusion that science consists of indefinite progress'
'One of the most important and insightful polemicists currently writing in English... humanism's most vocal critic'
'Gray is an engaging writer, an entertaining historian and a controversialist whose opinions can never be taken for granted'
John Gray has been Professor of Politics at Oxford University, Visiting Professor at Harvard and Yale and Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. His books include False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia and Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals. His selected writings, Gray's Anatomy, was published in 2009.
John Gray is most recently the acclaimed author of Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia, Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals, Al Qaeda and What It Means to be Modern, Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions and False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism. Having been Professor of Politics at Oxford, Visiting Professor at Harvard and Yale and Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics, he now writes full time. His books and articles have been translated into over thirty languages. His selected writings, Gray's Anatomy, were published by Penguin in 2009.