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The Resource Culture of complaint : the fraying of America, Robert Hughes

Culture of complaint : the fraying of America, Robert Hughes

Label
Culture of complaint : the fraying of America
Title
Culture of complaint
Title remainder
the fraying of America
Statement of responsibility
Robert Hughes
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • This book is a call for the re-knitting of a fragmented and over-tribalized America--a deeply passionate book, filled with barbed wit and devastating takes on public life, both left and right of center. To the right, the author fires broadsides at the populist demagogy of Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Jesse Helms and especially Ronald Reagan. To the left, he skewers political correctness, Afro-centrism, and academic obsessions with theory. PC censoriousness and "family-values" rhetoric, he argues, are only two sides of the same character, extrusions of America's puritan heritage into the present--and, at root, signs of America's difficulty in seeing past the end of the Us-versus-Them mentality implanted by four decades of the Cold War. This book is fired by a deep concern, but it is not a relentless diatribe. While the author lambastes some aspects of American politics and denounces political correctness, he offers a heartfelt defense of non-ideological multiculturalism as an antidote to Americans' difficulty in imagining the rest of the world--and other Americans
  • The best-selling author of The Shock of the New, The Fatal Shore, and Barcelona here delivers a withering polemic aimed at the heart of recent American politics and culture. Culture of Complaint is a call for the reknitting of a fragmented and over-tribalized America - a deeply passionate book, filled with barbed wit and devastating takes on public life, both left and right of center. To the right, Hughes fires broadsides at the populist demagogy of Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Jesse Helms and especially Ronald Reagan ("with somnambulistic efficiency, Reagan educated America down to his level. He left his country a little stupider in 1988 than it had been in 1980, and a lot more tolerant of lies"). To the left, he skewers political correctness ("political etiquette, not politics itself"), Afrocentrism, and academic obsessions with theory ("The world changes more deeply, widely, thrillingly than at any moment since 1917, perhaps since 1848, and the American academic left keeps fretting about how phallocentricity is inscribed in Dickens' portrayal of Little Nell"). PC censoriousness and "family-values" rhetoric, he argues, are only two sides of the same character, extrusions of America's puritan heritage into the present - and, at root, signs of America's difficulty in seeing past the end of the Us-versus-Them mentality implanted by four decades of the Cold War. In the long retreat from public responsibility beaten by America in the 80s, Hughes sees "a hollowness at the cultural core" - a nation "obsessed with therapies and filled with distrust of formal politics; skeptical of authority and prey to superstition; its language corroded by fake pity and euphemism." It resembles "late Rome...in the corruption and verbosity of its senators, in its reliance on sacred geese (those feathered ancestors of our own pollsters and spin-doctors) and in its submission to senile, deified emperors controlled by astrologers and extravagant wives." Culture of Complaint is fired by a deep concern for the way Hughes sees his adopted country heading. But it is not a relentless diatribe. If Hughes lambastes some aspects of American politics, he applauds Vaclav Havel's vision of politics "not as the art of the useful, but politics as practical morality, as service to the truth." And if he denounces PC, he offers a brilliant and heartfelt defense of non-ideological multiculturalism as an antidote to Americans' difficulty in imagining the rest of the world - and other Americans. Here, then, is an extraordinary cri de coeur, an outspoken call for the reconstruction of America's ideas about its recent self. It is a book that everyone interested in American culture will want to read
Additional physical form
Also issued online.
Cataloging source
  • DLC
  • DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1938-2012
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Hughes, Robert
Dewey number
700/.1/0309730904
Index
no index present
LC call number
NX180.S6
LC item number
H85 1993
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Arts and society
  • Popular culture
  • Cultura
  • Cultuurkritiek
  • Maatschappijkritiek
  • Cultura popular
  • Arts et société
  • Politiquement correct (Mouvement)
  • Culture populaire
  • États-Unis
Label
Culture of complaint : the fraying of America, Robert Hughes
Instantiates
Publication
Note
Based on a series of lectures
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages [207]-210)
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Lecture 1. Culture and the Broken Polity -- Lecture 2. Multi-Culti and Its Discontents -- Lecture 3. Moral in Itself: Art and the Therapeutic Fallacy
Control code
27035507
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
xiii, 210 pages
Isbn
9780195076769
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
92039678
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
System control number
  • (OCoLC)27035507
  • (WaOLN)1507065
Label
Culture of complaint : the fraying of America, Robert Hughes
Publication
Note
Based on a series of lectures
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages [207]-210)
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Lecture 1. Culture and the Broken Polity -- Lecture 2. Multi-Culti and Its Discontents -- Lecture 3. Moral in Itself: Art and the Therapeutic Fallacy
Control code
27035507
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
xiii, 210 pages
Isbn
9780195076769
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
92039678
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
System control number
  • (OCoLC)27035507
  • (WaOLN)1507065

Library Locations

    • Thomas Jefferson LibraryBorrow it
      1 University Blvd, St. Louis, MO, 63121, US
      38.710138 -90.311107
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