Synopsis and Publisher and Readers' Comments
Hailed by Kirkus Reviews as both "a convincing analysis of an
international economy" and a "powerful challenge to economic orthodoxy,"
False Dawn, now available in paperback, shows that the attempt to impose
the Anglo-American-style free market on the world will create a
disaster, possibly on the scale of Soviet communism. Even America, the
supposed flagship of the new civilization, risks moral and social
disintegration as it loses ground to other cultures that have never
forgotten that the market works best when it is embedded in society.
John Gray, well known in the 1980s as an important conservative
political thinker, whose writings were relied upon by Margaret Thatcher
and the New Right in Britain, has concluded that the conservative agenda
is no longer viable. In his examination of the ripple effects of the
economic turmoil in Russia and Asia on our collective future, Gray
provides one of the most passionate polemics against the utopia of the
free market since Carlyle and Marx.
John Gray is a professor of European thought at the London School of
Economics. His books include Isaiah Berlin and Enlightenment's Wake. He
lives in London.
Praise for False Dawn:
"False Dawn is a powerful analysis of the deepening instability of
global capitalism. It should be read by all who are concerned about the
future of the world economy."�George Soros
"Mr. Gray is surely one of Britain's leading public intellectuals ...
[his] economic theory ... offers a useful reminder that the global
economy need not look the same everywhere."�The Wall Street Journal
"A worthwhile book talks to you. A really worthwhile one invites you to
talk back. It won't take you many pages to enter into a dialogue with
False Dawn." �Bloomberg
"[Gray's] new book argues-actually, thunders-that the global economic
system is immoral, inequitable, unworkable, and unstable... . He
recognizes that the movement toward free markets, goods and ideas is not
a naturally occurring process but rather a political project that rests
on American power."�The New York Times Book Review
"A convincing analysis of an international economy headed for
disaster... . Listening to this powerful challenge to economic orthodoxy
could improve human prospects."�Kirkus Reviews
Other views by Readers:
The Green Man
This is a book that I could easily go over the top about and hurl
superlatives at ad-infinitum. It is a great book. First of all I'd like
to clear up the point that this book is written by John Gray. This is
NOT the John Gray that wrote the trite "Men are from Mars, Women are
from Venus". This book is of an all together different class written by
a professor of European Thought for LSE. Gray's thesis is that global
capitalism is neither the natural manifestation of an unregualted state,
one that it will progress to given time and a lack of government
interference. He makes the point that global capitalism is inherently
unstable and of its time, a time which is running out. Gray breaks his
thesis down into eight sub-plots and examines these within the context
of several world economies. His exposition of the American economic
globalization project is compelling.
Gray looks at the development and decline of European, British,
American, Russian and Eastern economies. He presents the historical as a
map to the future and warns against the Post-Enlightenment
super-narrative project, of which he sees the US as the last flailing
attempt. Gresham's Law, that bad money drives out good money, but that
good money cannot drive out bad, is cited as the downfall of all
Laissez-faire economies. Gray considers how captilist markets are
engineered in order to be 'free' and suggests that a 'social market',
along European lines, is much more what you end up with without state
intervention. He dispells the American myth that it has an economy which
is free, deregulated and without government intervention.
There are a couple of sections which are updates for the 2002 edition
(the original coming out in 1998). In these Gray considers the points he
makes in the book in the light of the 11th September terrorist
incidents. These sections are quite sobering and would be even more so
if re-written in light of the terrorism in Indonesia and possibly the
Phillipines over the past week. I have no background in economics and
the book takes a fair bit of reading. However, it is written clearly and
in a style that kept me interested to the very end. A really good book
which is essential reading for anyone who wishes to be informed
regarding current Western economic practices.
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Ashwin- Bangalore, India
This is a very well written book that brings out a political perspective
on Globalization, Free Trade and its impact/consequences.
Unlike most books which run into conspiracy theories of Capitalism
running amok and corporations driving covert agendas, this book instead
takes a look at the political scenarios existing in various key
countries & the complex interplay between the political history of the
state & the impact of capitalism & hence the very role of the State.
After dissecting Britain & the US, the author goes on to give very well
researched examples from Russia and East Asian States - he covers the
political history of each of these places & clearly outlines how
Capitalism morphs into a regional variant under different political
systems and the consequences of this morphing.
The author powerfully argues how Capitalism & Globalization are not
delinked from the role of the State ... and debunks the myth of a single
universal culture. The book ends on a dark note where it raises serious
questions about the presence & effectiveness of a Global governing body
to handle the inadequacies of capitalism, driven by technological
Its not an easy book to read, and requires a good knowledge of political
history (US/UK/Russia/Singapore/China/Japan) & basic economics; but once
finished, it is a definitive eye opener from a political perspective, on
how the situation today has developed and what the future holds out.
� Arab World Books