The Age of Conversation
Paperback ISBN: 1590172140
Now in paperback, an award-winning look at French salons and the women who presided over them In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, between the reign of Louis XIII and the Revolution, French aristocratic society developed an art of living based on a refined code of good manners. Conversation, which began as a way of passing time, eventually became the central ritual of social life. In the salons, freed from the rigidity of court life, it was women who dictated the rules and presided over exchanges among socialites, writers, theologians, and statesmen. They contributed decisively to the development of the modern French language, new literary forms, and debates over philosophical and scientific ideas. With a cast of characters both famous and unknown, ranging from the Marquise de Rambouillet to Madame de Sta‘l, and including figures like Ninon de Lenclos, the Marquise de Sevigne, and Madame de Lafayette, as well as Pascal, La Rochefoucauld, Diderot, and Voltaire, Benedetta Craveri traces the history of this worldly society that carried the art of sociability to its supreme perfection–and ultimately helped bring on the Revolution that swept it all away.
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 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
Counter-Rational Reason in the Eighteenth Century : Goya and the Paradigm of Unreason in Western Europe
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." (Overture to Discontinuity). Minerva, as the perfect weaver of tapestries, is emblematic of the of the uninterrupted thread of wisdom pursued by the Enlightenment, while Goya is emblematic of irrationality, as in his Capricho 43, with its famous inscription: "The Sleep/Dream of Reason Produces Monsters." Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
The Age of Questions
Or, A First Attempt at an Aggregate History of the Eastern, Social, Woman, American, Jewish, Polish, Bullion, Tuberculosis, and Many Other Questions o
Hardcover ISBN: 0691131155
"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 besolved. 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."-- Dust jacket.
The Age of the Crisis of Man
Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973
Hardcover ISBN: 069114639x
Greif examines the literary tone of the mid-twentieth century United States, characterizing it as a reaction to a crisis in the understanding of the human condition or nature. Part I looks to the source of this crisis, discussing the impact of World War II on the cultural psyche and problematization of Enlightenment paradigms. Part II consists of a single chapter orienting to the importance of literature in addressing the crisis. Part III analyzes in this vein several fiction authors including Saul Bellow, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O
The Age of the Crisis of Man
Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973
Paperback ISBN: 069117329x
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 émigrés, 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.
Alexis de Tocqueville and American Intellectuals
From His Time To Ours
Hardcover ISBN: 0742523438
Comprehensive in its chronology, the works it discusses, and the commentators it critically examines, Alexis de Tocqueville and American Intellectuals tells the surprising story of Tocqueville's reception in American thought and culture from the time of his 1831 visit to the United States to the turn of the twenty-first century.