Politics, A Survivor’s Guide

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Politics-Survivors-Engaged-without-Getting/dp/1838955046/

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/politics-a-survivors-guide/rafael-behr/9781838955045

After many years of people telling me I should write a book, I finally listened. I hope they weren’t joking.

The theme is our toxic politics, the engines of perpetual grievance that contaminate it and how to stay sane in the permacrisis.

It was prompted by my own experience of a near-fatal heart attack in 2019 and the realisation that proximity to politics had been a major driver of stress. I wrote about that at the time (well, after some convalescence) and was overwhelmed by the response from people who identified with the syndrome. It struck me that there were a lot of readers who, like me, were struggling to stay engaged with politics without being consumed by incapacitating rage. And I set about trying to understand the roots of that feeling, the threat it poses to democracy and what a remedy might look like.

Anyway, no more spoilers. The book is out in May 2023 but available for pre-order now:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Politics-Survivors-Engaged-without-Getting/dp/1838955046/

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/politics-a-survivors-guide/rafael-behr/9781838955045

Update: I am no good at updates

My apologies to anyone who has been visiting this site in recent months. I have not been diligent in posting links to the columns and essays I have written, or the podcasts I have recorded. Looking at the date on the post before this one, it seems I haven’t been here since November last year. If it hadn’t been my own name, I probably would have forgotten the URL.

The neglect is partly because I have been distracted writing a book, about which I will post something here soon. Writing books turns out to be every bit as time-consuming – as all-consuming – as people warned me it would be. I didn’t listen. Now I know.

Meanwhile, all of my Guardian columns and podcasts are available here.

A conversation with Steven Pinker

I haven’t updated this site for a while. In the unlikely event that anyone visits it to catch up with what I have been writing for the Guardian, that is all here. (The latest one was on Boris Johnson and the shallowness of Tory conversion to the cause of carbon reduction.)

But the reason for posting today is the arrival of a new Politics on the Couch podcast – on rationality and democracy, recorded in person with Professor Steven Pinker.