Out of the Ashes

Out of the Ashes

Rebuilding American Culture

Book - 2017
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"Blunt and prophetic, [the author] makes the case that the decay of Western civilization is alarmingly advanced. Our sickly, sub-pagan state resembles a bombed-out city. We have to assess the damage, but merely lamenting it does no good. There is work to be done."--Jacket flap.
Publisher: Washington, DC : Regnery Publishing, [2017]
Characteristics: 256 pages ; 24 cm
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781621575146
1621575144
Call Number: 306.0973 ESOLEN
Alternative Title: Rebuilding American culture

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dennismmiller
May 15, 2017

Esolen's examination of our current cultural collapse casts it as the consequence of a wholesale flight from reality - a preoccupation with what we can make of things which blinds us to the nature of things as they are. The only cure, then, is a renewed commitment to truth - truth about good and evil, beauty and ugliness, human nature and the nature of the world around us. That means confronting what he calls the "higher cant", the slogans, propagated with unprecedented power by the modern media and educational establishments, which serve to replace thinking.

As is frequently the case with Esolen, his contagious enthusiasm and far-ranging interests are accompanied by a lack of organization and focus, a combination which is alternately thrilling and frustrating. It is easy to dismiss much of what he writes as tendentious - an unrealistically bucolic vision of the past contrasted with a rhetorically denigrated present. Yet it is only possible to do so consistently from within the same narcotic cloud of unreality he seeks to disperse - his central argument is as reflexively simple as asserting that children ought to have childhoods, educators ought to educate, art ought to be beautiful, and that we should be defined more by the homes we build than by the work we do.

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