Gary Cox has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Birmingham, UK, where he is also an Honorary Research Fellow. He is author of The Sartre Dictionary, Sartre and Fiction, Sartre: A Guide for the Perplexed, How to Be an Existentialist, The Existentialist's Guide, How to Be a Philosopher, The God Confusion and Deep Thought - all published by Bloomsbury.
This easy to read and thought provoking biography explores all of the key events of the legendary philosopher's life and skillfully examines the close connections between his radical thoughts and philosophical works ... Gary Cox's Existentialism and Excess is a remarkably vivid and intimate biography that shows the existentialist legend had feet of clay, without in any way diminishing his contributions and greatness. If you are a fan of Jean-Paul Sartre, French intellectual life, philosophy, or biography, in particular, this first-rate account is highly recommended as a starting point for any study of this great man. -- Michael Thomas Barry * New York Journal of Books * Yet what is Sartre's legacy? Does anyone - should anyone - read him today? In his brisk, accessible biography, Gary Cox tries to make the case that Sartre's best work provides deep insight into the human condition. * National Review * [An] approachable, chatty biography ... As a pit stop tour of the life of this globetrotting intellectual ... Cox's work thrills, moving breezily from the spoiled provincial bourgeois child to the dissatisfied schoolteacher convinced of his own genius, to the ageing and in-demand literary grandee. * The Australian * Clear, declarative sentences and short yet detailed paragraphs make for a breezy introduction to Sartre's enormous oeuvre. * The Tablet * Cox characterizes the best of Sartre's literary and philosophical output as displaying unquestionable genius, but he does not shy away from criticism of the rather slapdash approach evident in much of Sartre's writing nor does he overlook Sartre's occasionally thoughtless treatment of some who were close to him (notably Simone de Beauvoir) ... The originality of Cox's readable treatment lies in his integration of the details of Sartre's life with his philosophical development. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; general readers. * CHOICE *