BOOKS

The Quest for a Moral Compass

Kenan Malik

RRP: £10.99

2 April 2015

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781848874817

RRP: £25.00

1 May 2014

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781848874794

RRP: £9.49

1 May 2014

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782390305

In this remarkable and groundbreaking book, Kenan Malik explores the history of moral thought as it has developed over three millennia, from Homer’s Greece to Mao’s China, from ancient India to modern America. It tells the stories of the great philosophers, and breathes life into their ideas, while also challenging many of our most cherished moral beliefs.

Engaging and provocative, The Quest for a Moral Compass confronts some of humanity’s deepest questions. Where do values come from? Is God necessary for moral guidance? Are there absolute moral truths? It also brings morality down to earth, showing how, throughout history, social needs and political desires have shaped moral thinking. It is a history of the world told through the history of moral thought, and a history of moral thought that casts new light on global history.

At a time of great social turbulence and moral uncertainty, there will be few histories more important than this.

REVIEWS

An absolute tour de force. I can imagine it replacing Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy on many a bookshelf - certainly mine.Tom Holland

This is an extraordinarily rewarding investigation of the most striking, and contested, aspect of our humanity... To read it is not only to be better informed but also to be more alert to the assumptions that have guided human beings in the past, and to our capacity for goodness and wickedness.Raymond Tallis

What I love about Kenan Malik's book is its unashamed, unabashed ambition: he wants to write the history of moral thought, not just in the Western tradition, but of all the traditions that make up the global argument about the direction that the human moral compass should point. The result is a tour de force of lucidity and narrative skill.Michael Ignatieff

The Quest for a Moral Compass is a remarkable achievement... While demonstrating genuine command of the subtleties of the hundreds of topics covered, he consistently chooses the accessible, the concise, the precise, and the broad-ranging over the technical, theoretical, and trivial. I learned more than I can say and will no doubt be consulting this book often in the future.Austin Dacey