Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Soul of the Marionette

The Soul of the Marionette

A Short Inquiry into Human Freedom

John Gray

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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In his brilliantly enjoyable and freewheeling new book, John Gray draws together the religious, philosophic, and fantastical traditions that question the very idea of human freedom. We flatter ourselves about the nature of free will and yet the most enormous forces--logical, physical, metaphysical--constrain our every action. Many writers and intellectuals have always understood this, but instead of embracing our condition we battle against it, with everyone from world conquerors to modern scientists dreaming of a "human dominion" almost comically at odds with our true state.

Filled with wonderful examples and drawing on the widest possible reading (from the Gnostics to Philip K. Dick), The Soul of the Marionette is a stimulating and engaging meditation on everything from cybernetics to the fairground marionettes of the title.

EXCERPT

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The Faith of Puppets



In the first centuries of our era, the Gnostics disputed with the Christians. They were annihilated, but we can imagine their possible victory.

Jorge Luis Borges, 'A Defense...

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About the author

John Gray

John Gray is the author of many critically acclaimed books, including The Silence of Animals, The Immortalization Commission, Black Mass, and Straw Dogs. A regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, he has been a 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.

John Gray

© Eamonn McCabe

John Gray

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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