Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World (Hardback)William Davies (author)
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**A Guardian and Evening Standard Book of the Year**
'An interdisciplinary masterpiece' New York Times
Why do we no longer trust experts, facts and statistics? Why has politics become so fractious and warlike? What caused the populist political upheavals of recent years? How can the history of ideas help us understand our present?
In this bold and far-reaching exploration of our new political landscape, William Davies reveals how feelings have come to reshape our world. Drawing deep on history, philosophy, psychology and economics, he shows how some of the fundamental assumptions that defined the modern world have dissolved. With advances in science and medicine, the division between mind and body is no longer so clear-cut. The spread of digital and military technology has left us not quite at war nor exactly at peace. In the murky new space between mind and body, between war and peace, lie nervous states: with all of us relying increasingly on feeling rather than fact.
In a book of profound insight and astonishing breadth, William Davies reveals the origins of this new political reality. Nervous States is a compelling and essential guide to the turbulent times we are living through.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 480 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 27 mm
If you read one book about contemporary politics this year, make it this one. William Davies is as acute and accurate on the shifts we are enduring as on the deep roots behind contemporary thinking (or not thinking, I should add). -- Stuart Kelly * Scotland on Sunday *
The roots of our current anxieties are traced in [Nervous States,] an absorbing book fizzing with ideas... Davies is a wonderfully alert and nimble guide and his absorbing and edgy book will help us feel our way to a better future. -- Suzanne Moore * Observer *
Wide-ranging yet brilliantly astute... Davies is a wild and surprising thinker who also happens to be an elegant writer - a wonderful and eminently readable combination. Nervous States covers 400 years of intellectual history, technological innovation and economic development, seamlessly weaving in such disparate intellects as Carl von Clausewitz, Friedrich von Hayek and Hannah Arendt. -- Jennifer Szalai * New York Times *
We should all read William Davies's Nervous States, a concise, penetrating exploration of the role played by negative emotions in our recent politics and culture -- Johanna Thomas-Corr * Evening Standard, **Books of the Year** *
What makes Nervous States such a fascinating read... is that it is a slickly written and timely intervention in an era when feelings have undoubtedly become more powerful than facts. -- Ian O'Doherty * Irish Independent *
An insightful and well-written book that explores the deep roots of the current crisis of expertise. The scientific community has been founded on the basis of separating reason from feeling. But now science itself has exposed this separation as an untenable myth. So where do we go from here? -- Yuval Noah Harari
A useful guide to our times... Nervous States makes a compelling case for paying more attention to the role of feelings, alongside that of reason, in modern life. -- Julian Baggini * Financial Times *
These are sparkling insights... [Nervous States] is an ambitious book with plenty to commend it. -- David Runciman * Guardian Weekly, Book of the Week *
[Davies] offers a penetrating analysis of 21st-century politics and culture... A fresh, astute examination of current events and urgent challenges. * Kirkus Reviews *
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