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Reviews

  • Surprising, illuminating . . . one of the many pleasures of reading Calasso is to follow the bumper-car ride of his thinking, as he caroms off this and that totemic figure dotted about the intellectual fairground

    The New York Times Review of Books
  • The ninth in Mr. Calasso's kaleidoscopic series of investigations into the spiritual biography of the secular West . . . the two long essays in The Unnamable Present examine the effects of novel and often dangerous mythologies-democracy, nationalism, Darwinism, race theory- in 20th-century Europe . . . he handles the events of the past with the reverence of a priest, rather than the dispassion of a historian. Material facts are the tangible aspect of hidden truths

    Dominic Green, The Wall Street Journal
  • A public intellectual in the great European tradition, whose new book attempts to define the era we're currently living through

    Irish Times
  • Calasso's erudition is dazzling . . . his assertions come in short, verbless sentences, darting from historical moment to historical moment, alighting on a person, a place, a topic, before moving briskly on

    Times Literary Supplement
  • This slim but wide-ranging philosophical inquiry extends the Italian author's series on the roots of modernity, with particular attention to moral relativism

    The New York Times
  • Encyclopedic, erudite . . . rather than exploring ideas, his books invoke spirits-of places, cultural periods, personalities

    Andrea Lee, New York Times
  • Be ready to be seduced by his breadth of reference and power of persuasion

    Telegraph, Keith Miller
  • Calasso has no equal in the sparkle of his storytelling and the depth of his learning

    Boyd Tonkin, Independent

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