Say what you will, but having the top underrated book of the year according to Prospect is pretty good fun. Also a little surprising. We’ve tended to think of it more from the other direction. Not that it was overrated! No no – don’t run away with that idea. But that we were (modest to a fault as we are) rather surprised that it got such good reviews. So good that it wasn’t like trying to find an eyelash on a football pitch to pick out extracts for quoting in advertisements. We had spares. We had more than enough. And that was a surprise. (Why? I don’t know, exactly. Maybe partly just because it’s hard to tell how a book one has written oneself comes off.) So we think of it, or at least I do, as kind of heaped with praise, rather than underrated. And as doing pretty well – it’s in its third printing. But if people want to say No, it’s even better than that, it should get even more good reviews and be read by even more people and go into even further printing – well far be it from me to disagree. Far, far, far, far, far. Miles be it. A day’s walk. A long way off.
William Skidelsky’s little dig is funny (he’s one of those men who are more funny than women, probably).
We thought we could detect one or two schools of thought at work – Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom’s anti-postmodernism polemic Why Truth Matters struck a chord with liberal neocons such as Johann Hari and Oliver Kamm.
Liberal neocons; cool. You got your Blitcons and your liberal neocons. Liberal neocons go with bipedal quadrupeds and red bluebirds and vanilla chocolate and sour sugar. But whatever. I didn’t even know Oliver Kamm had read the dang book, much less that he thought it should be more widely known.