Dennis Sewell

Are We Quite Mad?

How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered The World: A Short History of Modern Delusions

By

Fourth Estate 256pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO fix precisely when Reason nodded and the Age of Bunkum began. You could make a respectable case that good sense has been outweighed by utter drivel in every time and place since the fall of man. Yet a book has to start somewhere. So, while noting that his choice is probably as much mischievous as arbitrary, let’s accept without further cavil Francis Wheen’s proposed date of 1979 – the year that brought us the Ayatollah Khomeini and Margaret Thatcher – as the year when modern delusions first slipped the bonds of rationality and took wing.

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