The Twilight of American Culture

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jun 17, 2001 - History - 224 pages
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An emerging cult classic about America's cultural meltdown—and a surprising solution.

A prophetic examination of Western decline, The Twilight of American Culture provides one of the most caustic and surprising portraits of American society to date. Whether examining the corruption at the heart of modern politics, the "Rambification" of popular entertainment, or the collapse of our school systems, Morris Berman suspects that there is little we can do as a society to arrest the onset of corporate Mass Mind culture. Citing writers as diverse as de Toqueville and DeLillo, he cogently argues that cultural preservation is a matter of individual conscience, and discusses how classical learning might triumph over political correctness with the rise of a "a new monastic individual"—a person who, much like the medieval monk, is willing to retreat from conventional society in order to preserve its literary and historical treasures. "Brilliantly observant, deeply thoughtful ....lucidly argued."—Christian Science Monitor

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An excellent, thought-provoking review that reveals the true depth to which American and most Western Cultures have sunk. Witty, studied and considerate, this should be a 'must-read' for anyone who wonders just how things are as they are culturally.
Morris deals impressively with the idea that elitism is somehow wrong and stresses that this quality is what brings out the best in society. I agree completely with this argument and also that in its absence, the dilution of ability in what we do will only increase as a culture.
Put aside a couple of days to read cover to cover (slowly).

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About the author (2001)

Morris Berman is a cultural historian and the author of The Twilight of American Culture. He has held a number of university appointments, most recently as Visiting Professor of Sociology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

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