In this collage of critical reflections, written in the tradition of the short essay running through Francis Bacon and Roland Barthes, the novelist, philosopher, and former New York Times Opinion staffer Mark de Silva looks into matters of both common curiosity and special concern in America today: technological evolution, virtuality, terrorism, the future of the self, the individual's place in a globalized society, the species' place in the natural world, the state of the arts, and the animadversions of the sciences. Above all, Points of Attack is a handbook of the ways of the good life in bad times, and an inoculation against presumption in an era when the axioms of liberal democratic life have come undone and the end of history once again appears a long way off.
"These rich, epigrammatic essays cover the waterfront of contemporary life, culture, and the self, flashing with insight and making us think in ways that bring home how little we ordinarily do so. By turns inducing perplexity and strengthening conviction, they aim not to tear us down but to build us up. De Silva admirably models the wakeful, agile intelligence we need if we are to make it through the dark alleys of the future morally intact and sound of mind and body."
Jacob Howland, author of Glaucon's Fate: History, Myth, and Character in Plato's Republic
"A sexy philosopher's almanac, a comet tail of ideas and personal truths, Points of Attack is that rare tonic that will dazzle you with its intellectual spectrum, and all the attention it pays to our burning world."
Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, author of Loss
Mark de Silva is the author of the novel Square Wave and the fiction editor of 3: AM Magazine. He holds degrees in philosophy from Brown (AB) and Cambridge (PhD).