Out of the Ashes

Out of the Ashes

Rebuilding American Culture

Book - 2017
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"It's not your imagination: civilized human society is collapsing. Communities no longer work towards a common good; children are no longer our first priority; businesses no longer value "hard work"; arts and skills have been lost; and gender is decided by the individual, not biology. We cannot reverse national and global trends, says professor Anthony Esolen; but we can build communities that live up to humanity's promise and responsibility."--Publisher's website.
Publisher: ©2017
Washington, DC :, Regnery Publishing,, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781621575146
Characteristics: 203 pages ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Rebuilding American culture
Contents: Introduction : the rubble
Giving things their proper names : the restoration of truth-telling
Except the Lord build the house : restoring a sense of beauty
A mind is a terrible thing to baste : restoring the school
Man by nature desires to know : rebuilding the college
Repudiating the sexual revolution : restoring manhood
Restoring womanhood : building homes, not houses
Work while it is yet day : making good things again
Playing upon the waters : bringing play back to life
Idiots no more : recovering the polis
Pilgrims, returning home.
Summary: "It's not your imagination: civilized human society is collapsing. Communities no longer work towards a common good; children are no longer our first priority; businesses no longer value "hard work"; arts and skills have been lost; and gender is decided by the individual, not biology. We cannot reverse national and global trends, says professor Anthony Esolen; but we can build communities that live up to humanity's promise and responsibility."--Publisher's website.

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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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