Phillip W. Gray is an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University at Qatar. Previously, he taught at numerous institutions in Hong Kong as well as at the United States Coast Guard Academy. His research focuses on research ethics, comparative political ethics, extremist organizations and ideology, and terrorism.
`Vanguardism', a new animal joins the menagerie of political concepts, but thanks to Phillip Gray's combination of inventiveness and scholarship, this one adds to our understanding of the deep mythic logic behind extreme illiberal movements and states which still tend to be dismissed as nihilistic, barbaric, or `evil', and underestimated as an existential threat to the hegemony of liberal democracy. His book thus has a resonance far beyond the cloisters of academia and extends not just to the genocidal politics of Bolshevism and Nazism but to the bombed-out cars of Iraq and the weaponized vehicles of European capitals. - Roger Griffin, Emeritus Professor in Modern History, Oxford Brookes University Vanguardism is a timely, readable, and important book. It establishes Phillip Gray as one of the world's leading experts on political extremism. - George Hawley, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Alabama In this book Phillip Gray makes an important contribution to the study of political radicalism and extremism. He does so by expanding the attention given to `vanguardism' and, more saliently still, by substantially innovating that concept. By taking his cue from recent studies of totalitarianism - but making a good case that his implications go far beyond it - Gray successfully shows the range of political phenomena to which vanguardism applies. Thereby, in addition to repackaging the familiar twentieth-century examples, Gray has interesting things to say both about recent `subaltern' variants of vanguardism (focused around colonised peoples and racial minorities) and, in phenomena like identity politics, its potential mainstreaming. - Richard Shorten, Senior lecturer in Political Theory, University of Birmingham