In The Age of Defeat, the third volume of the internationally acclaimed Outsider Cycle, Colin Wilson introduces his New Existentialism as the basis for the revolution in thought that we need to bring about; a revolt against insignificance and ordinariness. The New Existentialism is a practical and strong-willed philosophy that will renew the concept of Man as hero. It emphasises the extraordinary in us.
The Age of Defeat examines the loss of the hero in Western culture and the implications of that loss for humanity, for us. When it was written in the middle of the 20th century, it was the idea of the hero that was endangered. Today it is Man, his identity and his masculinity, who is verging on extinction. The concept of Man is one of the most ambiguous and puzzling in our culture. Wilson states that to find his sense of purpose and to restore confidence in his own spirit, Man will need to believe in Man again, and include in his life words like heroism, greatness and power.
The Age of Defeat is an illuminating and enjoyable reading. With his outstanding and vast culture and his unusual ability to relate concepts, facts, and trends Wilson examines the importance of economic pressures and social demands as well as the core of our literature and philosophy to help us understand our time and our beliefs in a conscious and profound way.