Against Everything

Against Everything:On Dishonest Times

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A brilliant collection of essays from one of the most highly acclaimed young writers in the US

Against Everything is a thought-provoking study and essential guide to the vicissitudes of everyday life under twenty-first-century capitalism.

Mark Greif is one of the most exciting writers of his generation. In this invigorating collection, he challenges us to rethink the ordinary world and take life seriously – in short, to stay honest in dishonest times. In a series of coruscating set pieces he asks why we put ourselves through the pains of exercise, what our concerns about diet or sex does for our fundamental worth, what political identity the hipster might possess, and what happens to us when we listen to Radiohead or hip-hop.

Counter-intuitive and revelatory in his insights, Greif revels in the contradictions arising between our desires and the excuses we make to console ourselves. His work demands we have the courage to be ‘against everything’, to change our vantage on everyday life, find it wanting and demand something better.


  • Mark Greif writes a contrarian, skeptical prose that is at the same time never cynical: it opens out on to beauty and the possibility of change

    Zadie Smith
  • Matches brilliant critique with improbable optimism. His essays risk embarrassment to analyse the irritations of urban life — hipsters, foodies, gym-goers — so that we might see these characters in ourselves, and treat them with, if not more kindness, more interest.

    Spectator [Books of the Year]
  • It makes you think ... Greif thinks that a whole lot will have to change before real choice is possible. Until then, it’s not enough to be against the box-office and the real-estate section and the best-seller list. Until then, we have to be against ... everything.

    Loui MenandNew Yorker