The Twilight of American Culture

The Twilight of American Culture

Morris Berman

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 039332169X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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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dawn is not a real one. The best case I have read for the curious and problematic nature of the current cultural transformation is that of Robert Kaplan in an essay entitled "Was Democracy Just a Moment?" published in the Atlantic Monthly in December 1997. Kaplan points out that a world government is now emerging, one of international corporations and markets, and that this is happening "quietly and organically, the way vast developments in history take place." Of the world's one hundred

then they could get out of the trap, they could stop being zombies. Doris Lessing, Briefing for a Descent into Hell One of my intentions in writing The Twilight of American Culture was to create a kind of guidebook for disaffected Americans who feel increasingly unable to fit into this society, and who also feel that the culture has to change if it is to survive. I Page 133 was hoping, in other words, to offer something by way of a road map to anyone who is interested in orienting

require organization and expertise. In the case of indoor space, says Hiss, one has to pay attention to lighting, the chemical composition of the air, the arrangement of rooms and hallways. Thus, he seems to favor the notion of American cities setting up "Departments of Experiential Protection," which in my view would do the whole thing in. The chances that redesigned space, indoor or outdoor, would resemble Disney rather than Olmsted are far too high. We see this sort of thing now in the south

contemplate a Catholic world in which freedom of individual expression is sharply circumscribed, but in which the brakes that were put on scientific and technological development have resulted in a less hectic, more leisurely world. In Philip Dick's The Man in the High Tower, Germany won World War II"Of course"and what appears as aberrant fantasy within this scenario is an underground novel in the alternate history genre (written by the man in the high tower) in which Germany lost"Of course." The

(Acton, Mass.: VanderWyk & Bumham, 1996). Chapter 5 Stanley M. Burstein, The Hellenistic Period in World History (Washington, D.C.: American Historical Association, 1996). David Daiches, "The Scottish Enlightenment," in David Daiches et al. (eds.). The Scottish Enlightenment (Edinburgh: Saltire Society, 1996), pp. 2 and 5. Ernest Becker, "The Spectrum of Loneliness," Humanitas 10 (1974), 23746. John Gray, Isaiah Berlin (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), pp.

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