Nervous States

Nervous States: How feeling took over the world is published by Jonathan Cape in the UK in September 2018 and by Norton in the US in February 2019. It has also been published in Germany by Piper Verlag, in Italy by Einaudi and in Spain by Sexto Piso.


‘How feelings took over the world’The Guardian



Wide-ranging yet brilliantly astute… Davies is a wild and surprising thinker who also happens to be an elegant writer ― a wonderful and eminently readable combination. Nervous States covers 400 years of intellectual history, technological innovation and economic development, seamlessly weaving in such disparate intellects as Carl von Clausewitz, Friedrich von Hayek and Hannah Arendt.” (Jennifer Szalai New York Times)

If you read one book about contemporary politics this year, make it this one. William Davies is as acute and accurate on the shifts we are enduring as on the deep roots behind contemporary thinking (or not thinking, I should add).” (Stuart Kelly Scotland on Sunday)

“The roots of our current anxieties are traced in [Nervous States,] an absorbing book fizzing with ideasDavies is a wonderfully alert and nimble guide and [Nervous States] will help us feel our way to a better future.” (Suzanne Moore Observer)

“What makes Nervous States such a fascinating read… is that it is a slickly written and timely intervention in an era when feelings have undoubtedly become more powerful than facts.” (Ian O’Doherty Irish Independent)

“An insightful and well-written book that explores the deep roots of the current crisis of expertise. The scientific community has been founded on the basis of separating reason from feeling. But now science itself has exposed this separation as an untenable myth. So where do we go from here?” (Yuval Noah Harari)

A useful guide to our timesNervous States makes a compelling case for paying more attention to the role of feelings, alongside that of reason, in modern life.” (Julian Baggini Financial Times)

Engrossing… Davies is a lively writer.” (Alan Ryan Literary Review)

Brilliant.” (Matthew d’Ancona Guardian)

Intriguing… [Nervous States is] a call for action.” (Johanna Thomas-Corr Evening Standard)

“William Davies brilliantly explains that we can no longer sensibly look for hope in ever more technological achievements, especially those that subjugate nature to our will. As our times slowdown we have to confront our fears, our pain and our resentment. We have to redefine hope.” (Danny Dorling)

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