The Twilight of American Culture

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jun 17, 2001 - Social Science - 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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User Review  - pessoanongrata - LibraryThing

i pretty much agree with everything he says. our culture, our politics, are cesspools of submediocrity. but all this talk about the meaningless of consumerism made me want to go out and buy some new threads. which i did. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Carlie - LibraryThing

According to Berman (and I tend to agree), American culture has entered its twilight, ready for decline and disintegration. In fact, the decline has already begun with the advent of McWorld ... Read full review

Contents

The American Crisis 1 Collapse or Transformation?
1
The Monastic Option
71
The Testimony of Literature
91
The Dialectic of Enlightenment
103
The Monastic Option in the Twentyfirst Century
132
Alternative Visions
159
Notes
185
Index
195
71
196
91
197
103
198
185
200
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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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