The Age of Nothing
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The Age of Nothing : How We Have Sought To Live Since The Death of God

3.78 (247 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The stirring story of one of the modern world's most important intellectual achievements: atheism. Since Friedrich Nietzsche roundly declared that 'God is dead' in 1882, a raft of reflective and courageous individuals have devoted their creative energies to devising ways to live without Him, turning instead to invention, enthusiasm, hope, wit and above all various forms of self-reliance. Their brave, innovative story has gone untold - until now. In THE AGE OF NOTHING, acclaimed historian Peter Watson offers a weeping narrative of the secular philosophers and poets, psychologists and other scientists, painters and playwrights, novelists and even choreographers who have forged a thrilling, bold path in the absence of religious belief. From Paul Valery and George Santayana to Richard Rorty and Ronald Dworkin, from Georges Seurat and Constantin Brancusi to Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg, from Henrik Ibsen to Samuel Beckett, from Wallace Stevens and Rainer Maria Rilke to Elizabeth Bishop and Czeslaw Milosz, from Sigmund Freud and Benjamin Spock to E.O.
Wilson and Sam Harris, THE AGE OF NOTHING brilliantly explores how atheism has evolved, and gained unprecedented popularity as it has sought to replace an unknowable God in the Afterlife. Atheism has had its share of ideologues, tyrants and charlatans but it is primarily a history of brave accomplishment and one that is far from finished. Watson's stimulating intellectual narrative explores the revolutionary ideas and big questions provoked by great minds and movements. A sparkling and ultimately triumphant history, THE AGE OF NOTHING is the first full story of our efforts to live without God.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 624 pages
  • 161 x 236 x 42mm | 934g
  • WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0297859846
  • 9780297859840
  • 335,444

Review quote

I would not wish to have missed The Age of Nothing by Peter Watson, a brisk 565 pages on the displacement of God from Western Culture. -- TOM STOPPARD TLS - BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2014 his erudition is formidable -- THEODORE DALRYMPLE THE TIMES In a vividly engaging conspectus of the formative ideas of the past century, The Age of Nothing shows how Nietzsche's diagnosis evoked responses in may areas of cultural life, including some surprising parts of the political spectrum. -- John Gray NEW STATESMAN I recommend this book to anyone who needs to know what the loss of religious faith has meant to the high culture of our civilsation and what, if anything, we might do about it... (it) covers a whole century of intellectual endeavour as lightly as it can. -- ROGER SCRUTON THE INDEPENDENT The beauty of this book is Watson's ability to impose order on a riot of ideas. PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY This book will appeal to anyone with intellectual curiosity about the human condition and the development of ideas. It will especially appeal to the non-religious reader. This isn't a book about, or even particularly in defence of atheism as a worldview, but it sets out objectively a history of non-religious thought that covers everything from science to poetry, incorporating philosophy, the rise of new age 'spiritualism' and therapy. -- GREG JAMESON ENTERTAINMENT FOCUS his erudition is formidable -- Theodore Dalymple THE TIMES There is much in this book that I did not know, and I am grateful to have learnt it. -- Theodore Dalrymple THE TIMES The beauty of this book is Watson's ability to impose order on a riot of ideas. Publisher's Weekly This book will appeal to anyone with intellectual curiosity about the human condition and the development of ideas. It will especially appeal to the non-religious reader. This isn't a book about, or even particularly in defence of atheism as a worldview, but it sets out objectively a history of non-religious thought that covers everything from science to poetry, incorporating philosophy, the rise of new age 'spiritualism' and therapy. -- Greg Jameson Entertainment Focus I recommend this book to anyone who needs to know what the loss of religious faith has meant to the high culture of our civilsation and what, if anything, we might do about it... (it) covers a whole century of intellectual endeavour as lightly as it can. -- Roger Scruton THE INDEPENDENT In a vividly engaging conspectus of the formative ideas of the past century, The Age of Nothing shows how Nietzsche's diagnosis evoked responses in may areas of cultural life, including some surprising parts of the political spectrum. -- John Gray NEW STATESMAN
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About Peter Watson

Peter Watson was born in 1943 and educated at the universities of Durham, London and Rome. He was deputy editor of New Society and spent four years as part of the 'Insight' team of The Sunday Times. He was New York correspondent of The Times and has written for the Observer, The New York Times, Punch and The Spectator. He is the author of thirteen books and has presented several television programmes about the arts. Since 1998 he has been a Research Associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, at the University of Cambridge.
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Rating details

247 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 28% (68)
4 39% (96)
3 22% (54)
2 8% (20)
1 4% (9)
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