Intellectual History
The Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generation's Odyssey
The Dream Palace of the Arabs
A Generation's Odyssey
Paperback      ISBN: 0375704744

From Fouad Ajami, an acclaimed author and chronicler of Arab politics, comes a compelling account of how a generation of Arab intellectuals tried to introduce cultural renewals in their homelands through the forces of modernity and secularism. Ultimately, they came to face disappointment, exile, and, on occasion, death. Brilliantly weaving together the strands of a tumultuous century in Arab political thought, history, and poetry, Ajami takes us from the ruins of Beirut's once glittering metropolis to the land of Egypt, where struggle rages between a modernist impulse and an Islamist insurgency, from Nasser's pan-Arab nationalist ambitions to the emergence of an uneasy Pax Americana in Arab lands, from the triumphalism of the Gulf War to the continuing anguished debate over the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords.

For anyone who seeks to understand the Middle East, here is an insider's unflinching analysis of the collision between intellectual life and political realities in the Arab world today.
'this Culture of Ours': Intellectual Transitions in t'Ang and Sung China
'this Culture of Ours'
Intellectual Transitions in t'Ang and Sung China
Paperback      ISBN: 0804723613

This book traces the shared culture of the Chinese elite from the seventh to the twelfth centuries. The early T'ang definition of 'This Culture of Ours' combined literary and scholarly traditions from the previous five centuries. The late Sung Neo-Confucian movement challenged that definition. The author argues that the Tang-Sung transition is best understood as a transition from a literary view of culture - in which literary accomplishment and mastery of traditional forms were regarded as essential - to the ethical orientation of Neo-Confucianism, in which the cultivation of one's innate moral ability was regarded as the goal of learning. The author shows that this transformation paralleled the collapse of the T'ang order and the restoration of a centralized empire under the Sung, underscoring the connection between elite formation and political institutions.

'this Culture of Ours': Intellectual Transitions in t'Ang and Sung China
'this Culture of Ours'
Intellectual Transitions in t'Ang and Sung China
Hardcover      ISBN: 0804719209

This book traces the shared culture of the Chinese elite from the seventh to the twelfth centuries. The early T'ang definition of 'This Culture of Ours' combined literary and scholarly traditions from the previous five centuries. The late Sung Neo-Confucian movement challenged that definition. The author argues that the Tang-Sung transition is best understood as a transition from a literary view of culture - in which literary accomplishment and mastery of traditional forms were regarded as essential - to the ethical orientation of Neo-Confucianism, in which the cultivation of one's innate moral ability was regarded as the goal of learning. The author shows that this transformation paralleled the collapse of the T'ang order and the restoration of a centralized empire under the Sung, underscoring the connection between elite formation and political institutions.

African Intellectual Heritage
African Intellectual Heritage
Paperback      ISBN: 1566394031

Organized by major themes such as creation stories, and resistance to oppression, this collection gather together ancient, anonymous writers whose texts were originally written on stone and papyri, and the well-known public figures of more recent times whose spoken and written words have shaped the intellectual history of the diaspora.

Age of Fracture
Age of Fracture
Paperback      ISBN: 0674064364

In the last quarter of the twentieth century, the ideas that most Americans lived by started to fragment. Mid-century concepts of national consensus, managed markets, gender and racial identities, citizen obligation, and historical memory became more fluid. Flexible markets pushed aside Keynesian macroeconomic structures. Racial and gender solidarity divided into multiple identities; community responsibility shrank to smaller circles. In this wide-ranging narrative, Daniel T. Rodgers shows how the collective purposes and meanings that had framed social debate became unhinged and uncertain.

Age of Fracture offers a powerful reinterpretation of the ways in which the decades surrounding the 1980s changed America. Through a contagion of visions and metaphors, on both the intellectual right and the intellectual left, earlier notions of history and society that stressed solidity, collective institutions, and social circumstances gave way to a more individualized human nature that emphasized choice, agency, performance, and desire. On a broad canvas that includes Michel Foucault, Ronald Reagan, Judith Butler, Charles Murray, Jeffrey Sachs, and many more, Rodgers explains how structures of power came to seem less important than market choice and fluid selves.

Cutting across the social and political arenas of late-twentieth-century life and thought, from economic theory and the culture wars to disputes over poverty, color-blindness, and sisterhood, Rodgers reveals how our categories of social reality have been fractured and destabilized. As we survey the intellectual wreckage of this war of ideas, we better understand the emergence of our present age of uncertainty.

The Age of Minerva, Volume 1
The Age of Minerva, Volume 1
Hardcover      ISBN: 0812233077

The first volume of a trilogy about aberrant reason and the cognitive fault lines that expose the discontinuities underlying empirical reality, fault lines that are embedded in the discourses of literature, art, social analysis, biology, and philosophy.

The Age of Minerva, Volume 2: Cognitive Discontinuities in Eighteenth-Century Thought--From Body to Mind in Physiology and the Arts
The Age of Minerva, Volume 2
Cognitive Discontinuities in Eighteenth-Century Thought--From Body to Mind in Physiology and the Arts
Hardcover      ISBN: 0812233085

The second volume of a trilogy about aberrant reason and the cognitive fault lines that expose the discontinuities underlying empirical reality, fault lines that are embedded in the discourses of literature, art, social analysis, biology, and philosophy.

The Age of Questions: Or, a First Attempt at an Aggregate History of the Eastern, Social, Woman, American, Jewish, Polish, Bullion, Tubercul
The Age of Questions
Or, a First Attempt at an Aggregate History of the Eastern, Social, Woman, American, Jewish, Polish, Bullion, Tubercul
Hardcover      ISBN: 0691131155

A groundbreaking history of the Big Questions that dominated the nineteenth century

In the early nineteenth century, a new age began: the age of questions. In the Eastern and Belgian questions, as much as in the slavery, worker, social, woman, and Jewish questions, contemporaries saw not interrogatives to be answered but problems to be solved. Alexis de Tocqueville, Victor Hugo, Karl Marx, Frederick Douglass, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Rosa Luxemburg, and Adolf Hitler were among the many who put their pens to the task. The Age of Questions asks how the question form arose, what trajectory it followed, and why it provoked such feverish excitement for over a century. Was there a family resemblance between questions? Have they disappeared, or are they on the rise again in our time?

In this pioneering book, Holly Case undertakes a stunningly original analysis, presenting, chapter by chapter, seven distinct arguments and frameworks for understanding the age. She considers whether it was marked by a progressive quest for emancipation (of women, slaves, Jews, laborers, and others); a steady, inexorable march toward genocide and the Final Solution; or a movement toward federation and the dissolution of boundaries. Or was it simply a farce, a false frenzy dreamed up by publicists eager to sell subscriptions? As the arguments clash, patterns emerge and sharpen until the age reveals its full and peculiar nature.

Turning convention on its head with meticulous and astonishingly broad scholarship, The Age of Questions illuminates how patterns of thinking move history.

The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973
The Age of the Crisis of Man
Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973
Hardcover      ISBN: 069114639x

A compelling intellectual and literary history of midcentury America

In a midcentury American cultural episode forgotten today, intellectuals of all schools shared a belief that human nature was under threat. The immediate result was a glut of dense, abstract books on the nature of man. But the dawning age of the crisis of man, as Mark Greif calls it, was far more than a historical curiosity. In this ambitious intellectual and literary history, Greif recovers this lost line of thought to show how it influenced society, politics, and culture before, during, and long after World War II.

During the 1930s and 1940s, fears of the barbarization of humanity energized New York intellectuals, Chicago protoconservatives, European Jewish migr s, and native-born bohemians to seek re-enlightenment, a new philosophical account of human nature and history. After the war this effort diffused, leading to a rebirth of modern human rights and a new power for the literary arts.

Critics' predictions of a death of the novel challenged writers to invest bloodless questions of human nature with flesh and detail. Hemingway, Faulkner, and Richard Wright wrote flawed novels of abstract man. Succeeding them, Ralph Ellison, Saul Bellow, Flannery O'Connor, and Thomas Pynchon constituted a new guard who tested philosophical questions against social realities--race, religious faith, and the rise of technology--that kept difference and diversity alive.

By the 1960s, the idea of universal man gave way to moral antihumanism, as new sensibilities and social movements transformed what had come before. Greif's reframing of a foundational debate takes us beyond old antagonisms into a new future, and gives a prehistory to the fractures of our own era.

The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973
The Age of the Crisis of Man
Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973
Paperback      ISBN: 069117329x

A compelling intellectual and literary history of midcentury America

In a midcentury American cultural episode forgotten today, intellectuals of all schools shared a belief that human nature was under threat. The immediate result was a glut of dense, abstract books on the nature of man. But the dawning age of the crisis of man, as Mark Greif calls it, was far more than a historical curiosity. In this ambitious intellectual and literary history, Greif recovers this lost line of thought to show how it influenced society, politics, and culture before, during, and long after World War II.

During the 1930s and 1940s, fears of the barbarization of humanity energized New York intellectuals, Chicago protoconservatives, European Jewish migr s, and native-born bohemians to seek re-enlightenment, a new philosophical account of human nature and history. After the war this effort diffused, leading to a rebirth of modern human rights and a new power for the literary arts.

Critics' predictions of a death of the novel challenged writers to invest bloodless questions of human nature with flesh and detail. Hemingway, Faulkner, and Richard Wright wrote flawed novels of abstract man. Succeeding them, Ralph Ellison, Saul Bellow, Flannery O'Connor, and Thomas Pynchon constituted a new guard who tested philosophical questions against social realities--race, religious faith, and the rise of technology--that kept difference and diversity alive.

By the 1960s, the idea of universal man gave way to moral antihumanism, as new sensibilities and social movements transformed what had come before. Greif's reframing of a foundational debate takes us beyond old antagonisms into a new future, and gives a prehistory to the fractures of our own era.