'...an intelligent discussion of the difficult concept of friendship' - Metapsychology
'A history of the idea of friendship through the works of various thinkers from Plato to Nietzsche. It's genuinely useful, lucid, informative and wise.' - The Independent, Books of the Year 2005
'A wonderfully thoughtful and timely reflection on the importance of friendship in helping us become honest, courageous and wise.' - Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian
'A very readable mix of self-help and technical philosophy, this inquiry explores the potentially detrimental effects of dissimulation, sexuality and the workplace on friendship, as well as looking more generally at the political and ethical issues. Ultimately, Vernon argues that in its purest form friendship is a way of life. Indeed, like Socrates, he believes philosophy and friendship have much in common: they are both founded upon the love that seeks to know'. - PD Smith, The Guardian
"In a secular, consuming society nothing is more urgently needed than a cogent, passionate justification of those values we hold most dear in spite of everything. Mark Vernon passionately justifies friendship as a value lying at the very heart of what we are. This is a book that will make you feel better about being human." - Bryan Appleyard
"Mark Vernon's book will change the way you think about the people you see every day - at work, in your street, in the pub, at home. He helps us to appreciate and to nourish many different kinds of friendship." - Sophie Howorth, The School of Life
Mark Vernon began his professional life as a priest in the Church of England, left an atheist, and is now a searching agnostic on such things. He is a writer and journalist, other titles including After Atheism and Wellbeing, part of the Art of Living series he edits. He writes regularly for the Guardian and the TLS, is on the faculty at The School of Life in London, and is an honorary research fellow at Birkbeck College, London. He has degrees in physics and theology, and a PhD in philosophy.