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About the book
  • Published: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409077596
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 480

Moral Clarity

A Guide for Grown-up Idealists

Distinguished scholar, Susan Neiman, argues for a commitment to a more just world that is rationally grounded, implacable and insatiable.

* Susan Neiman is one of the most distinguished scholars writing today. Her previous book, Evil in Modern Thought, has been widely hailed as a classic. She is a moral philosopher committed to making the tools of her trade relevant to real life. In Moral Clarity, she shows how the resources of the eighteenth century Enlightenment can help us to reconstruct a progressive politics that does not repeat the mistakes of Marxism or succumb to the appeal of unreason.

* Against a background of books that have sought to call a halt to the very idea of the left, Neiman argues for a commitment to a more just world that is rationally grounded, implacable and insatiable.

* In her commitment to reason and the facts of the world, in her brilliant readings of the Western canon, and above all in her fierce commitment to politics as a moral endeavour, Neiman makes it possible to believe that the Enlightenment is not yet exhausted and that we are free to join it if we wish.

  • Pub date: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409077596
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 480

About the Author

Susan Neiman

Susan Neiman is an American philosopher who taught at Yale University and Tel Aviv University, and is currently the director of the Einstein Forum. She is the author of three previous books, most recently Evil in Modern Thought. Neiman lives with her three children in Berlin.

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Praise for Moral Clarity

“A tour de force: a witty, profound, and powerful successor to her breakthrough book, Evil in Modern Thought.”

Tom Gitlin

“With passion, wit, and high intelligence, Susan Neiman invites us to be moral grown-ups. Morally and politically compelling - and a delight to read.”

Michael Walzer

“Susan Neiman's profound wisdom and courage give us a public conception of goodness and a reinvigorated progressive vision....She is a beacon of light and hope in our morally debased times.”

Cornel West

“The Enlightenment project of constructing a rational morality--pronounced dead by commentators on the left and right--has found a champion determined to resurrect it for the twenty-first century.”


“Susan Neiman is a masterly storyteller; her new book Moral Clarity offers retellings of the Odyssey and the Book of Job that are themselves worth the price of admission. But she also has stories about the origins of her own position that place her in both larger intellectual narratives and more local political ones...Her project can be seen as a progressive alternative to (Allan Bloom's) The Closing of the American Mind.”

Anthony Appiah

“In Moral Clarity Susan Neilman criticises the philosophical ideas that dominate contemporary culture and politics on a grand scale. She is well equipped to do this.”

Onora O’Neill

“Fresh and exhilarating, inspiring optimism rather than recrimination...a rallying cry to return to Enlightenment values - not as heritage kitsch but as a process we are still undergoing, a demand we have yet to answer”

Jane O’Grady, The Guardian

“Forget the Man Booker long list. Susan Neiman's superb new book should be at the top of beach reads this summer. For what Neiman beautifully chronicles is how in all sorts of policy areas the left has let slip its Enlightenment bearings and is no longer able to act on moral impulses.... Now is the time to turn to Neiman and re-inject some morality into progressive politics - for the good of everyone”

Tristram Hunt, Guardian online

“A lucid new tome on why politics is a moral pursuit, and why we need a second Enlightenment. Where was the voice of academia in our political and financial crisis? This firebrand turned head of the Einstein Forum brings a refreshing conviction of the possibility of a deliberative public life”

Hugh Roberts, Guardian online

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