Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Year in Review. (Books)

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Year in Review. (Books)

Article excerpt

The literary editor's

Christmas recommendations

The Blank Slate: the modern denial of human nature

by Steven Pinker (Allen Lane, The Penguin Press)

John Gray: "The belief that there is no such thing as human nature has come to be the core dogma of radical humanism ... Pinker provides rigorous and dispassionate analysis in this magisterial and indispensable new book."

NS, 16 September

Interesting Times: a 20th-century life

by Eric Hobsbawm (Allen Lane)

Richard Gott: "Those who still relish a sturdy defence of the Enlightenment will read this book with huge enjoyment."

NS, 23 September

Kamikaze: Japan's suicide gods

by Albert Axell and Hideaki Kase (Longman)

J G Ballard: "If the future is a marriage between Microsoft and the Disney Corporation, what can the rest of us do about it? Reading this strangely moving account of the kamikaze pilots, one dimly senses that the fightback may have already begun, launched more than 60 years ago when Japanese carrier planes bombed Pearl Harbor."

NS, 9 September

Straw Dogs: thoughts on humans and other animals

by John Gray (Granta Books)

Edward Skidelsky: "Gray's scepticism has now taken on a more universal dimension. Straw Dogs is a bold departure; it is an attempt to articulate a total view of the world, a Weltanschauung."

NS, 2 September

London Orbital: a walk around the M25 by lain Sinclair (Granta)

Will Self: "Sinclair's recent work represents some of the most important in contemporary English letters . …

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