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Add to Cart Add to Cart. Add to Wishlist Add to Wishlist. Grayling Everyone wishes to live a life that is satisfying and fulfilling, in which there is achievement and pleasure, and which has the respect of people one, in turn, respects.
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If we grant Grayling's own sincerity then it remains only to judge him in the other dimensions — that is, whether his opinions are well supported, and whether he is accurate. The answer to the first question is No, at least in this volume. This is not surprising given the brevity of the essays, and it is implicitly acknowledged in the introduction, where Grayling describes the book as a collection of 'nods and winks', intended mainly to prompt reflection.
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This disclaimer, however, seems at odds with his frequent certainty. Instead, those sharing Grayling's outlook will be pleased at the eloquent expression of their own opinions, while those who disagree will generally not find enough meat to challenge them. Where he is less conclusive, for example, on the subject of war, he resorts to bromides about swords and ploughshares with which everyone could agree. In the dimension of accuracy, Grayling also falls short — though perhaps this too is unsurprising considering the impressive range of topics on which he writes.
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Continuing with his essay on 'Opinion', he presents a picture of government and the press as being on opposite sides, with the power of the latter sometimes exercised irresponsibly. This is all very well in a narrow frame, but it will strike critical scholars of the media as obscuring more important questions.
When he writes that reportage should be clearly separated from opinion, there is no evidence that he has thought about the forces that determine what is established truth, or the selection of what is reported.
Life, the universe and everything?
Such is Grayling's own uncritical embrace of media 'facts' that, when it comes to the Middle East, he refers to Israelis 'building a fence around their country' — a description so obsequious in observing the requirement to portray the West Bank Wall as a defensive structure that it demands a redefinition of the word 'around'. Everyone wishes to live a life that is satisfying and fulfilling, in which there is achievement and pleasure and which has the respect of people one, in turn, respects.
And one of the fundamentals to living such a life is to reflect on the choices we make. In this new collection, A.
C Grayling invites the reader into a conversation with ideas. From personal questions about happiness and quality of life to wider public concerns such as war and democracy, these essays provide a springboard to thought and to exploring what is best about the human heart and mind.
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