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  • Published: 15 March 2012
  • ISBN: 9780141041889
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $22.99

The Immortalization Commission

The Strange Quest to Cheat Death

A revelatory secret history of our delusional quest for immortality


At the heart of all human experience lies our obsession with death. For many years we turned to religion for answers, but with the twentieth century came ideas from evolution and politics to suggest that our lives - and afterlives - were in our own hands. Such ideas went on to have both trivial and terrible effects: from a sweeping craze of séances to the mass-murders of the Stalinist terror.

Gray raises vital questions about the 'truths' science can offer, the technology we are still exploiting for immortality - and exactly what it means to be human.

  • Published: 15 March 2012
  • ISBN: 9780141041889
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

John Gray

John Gray's most recent books are Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals , Al-Qaeda and What It Means To Be Modern  and Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions. He is Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics.

Also by John Gray

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Praise for The Immortalization Commission

The most prescient of British public intellectuals

Financial Times

Gray has consistently anticipated the shape of things to come ... he teaches us that true humanism is to be found in uncertainty and doubt

Will Self

The closest thing we have to a window-smashing French intellectual

Andrew Marr

A visionary ... one of the most reliably provocative and heterodox voices in British intellectual life today

New Statesman

Gray is a philosophical maverick, a pricker of bubbles, a deflater of balloons, a true iconoclast for whom our chief competing accounts of existence - the religious and the humanist - are both fatally flawed

Globe and Mail

Deeply thoughtful, brilliantly narrated

Raymond Tallis, Literary Review

A romp of a read ... John Gray is a connoisseur of human idiocy

John Banville, Guardian

Our sharpest critic of utopian fantasies skewers the crazed but enduring dream of cheating age, time and death

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

John Gray, the counter-prophet who scorns all claims that humans can transcend the human condition ... You don't have to agree with Gray to enjoy the fireworks

Marek Kohn, Independent

Elegant ... He is on to something important regarding the delusion that science consists of indefinite progress

Sunday Telegraph

Gray is an engaging writer, an entertaining historian and a controversialist whose opinions can never be taken for granted

New Statesman

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