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In these provocative essays, one of our most distinguished historians looks into the abyss of the present. Himmelfarb exposes the intellectual and spiritual impoverishment of some of our most fashionable current ideas--and shows how the vogue for historical structuralism has made it possible to trivialize the tragedy of the Holocaust.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In One Nation, Two Cultures, one of today's most respected and articulate cultural critics gives us a penetrating examination of the gulf between the two sides of American society -- a divide that cuts across class, racial, ethnic, political, and sexual lines. While one side originated in the traditional idea of republican virtue, the other emerged from the counterculture of the late 1960s and has become the dominant culture of today.In clear and vigorous prose, Himmelfarb argues that while the dominant culture pervades journalism, academia, television, and film, a "dissident culture" continues to promote the values of family, a civil society, sexual morality, privacy, and patriotism. The clash between these two cultures affects all areas of American society.Despite her forceful critique, Himmelfarb sees encouraging signs for the future of American culture. She explores the place of religion, family, and the law in American life and proposes democratic remedies for the nation's moral and cultural diseases. Though there are many legitimate grievances against government, she contends, our citizenry cannot afford to delegitimize it. And she concludes that it is a tribute to Americans that, without serious social strife, we remain one nation even as we are divided into two cultures.One Nation, Two Cultures is a stimulating work, one sure to provoke lively discussion and controversy.From the Hardcover edition.
In a provocative study that bristles with contemporary relevance, Himmelfarb demonstrates that the material and moral dimensions of poverty were inseparable in the minds of late Victorians, be they radical or conservative.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In an elegant, eminently readable work, one of our most distinguished intellectual historians gives us a brilliant revisionist history. The Roads to Modernity reclaims the Enlightenment-an extraordinary time bursting with new ideas about human nature, politics, society, and religion--from historians who have downgraded its importance and from scholars who have given preeminence to the Enlightenment in France over concurrent movements in England and America.Contrasting the Enlightenments in the three nations, Himmelfarb demonstrates the primacy and wisdom of the British, exemplified in such thinkers as Adam Smith, David Hume, and Edmund Burke, as well as the unique and enduring contributions of the American Founders. It is their Enlightenments, she argues, that created a social ethic-humane, compassionate, and realistic-that still resonates strongly today, in America perhaps even more than in Europe.The Roads to Modernity is a remarkable and illuminating contribution to the history of ideas.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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