Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
The essays in Against Everything are learned, original, highly entertaining, and, from start to finish, dead serious, reinventing and reinvigorating what intellectuals can be and say and do. Key topics are the tyranny of exercise, the folly of food snobbery, the sexualization of childhood (and everything else), the philosophical meaning of pop music, the rise and fall of the hipster, the uses of reality TV, the impact of protest movements, and the crisis of policing. Four of the selections address, directly and unironically, the meaning of life-how to find a philosophical stance to adopt toward one's self and the world. Mark Greif manages to revivify the thought and spirit of the greatest of American dissenters, Henry David Thoreau, for our time and historical situation.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: The Guardian • The Atlantic • New York Magazine • San Francisco Chronicle • Paris Review • National Post (Canada)
Longlisted for the 2017 PEN Diamonson-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay
Mark Greif is co-founder of the literary and intellectual journal n+1. He is also currently an associate professor at The New School in New York.