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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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25 Local Warehouse US History- 20th Century
25 Remote Warehouse US History- 20th Century

The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief

by

The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the aftermath of World War II, the United States stood at a precipice. The forces of modernity unleashed by the war had led to astonishing advances in daily life, but technology and mass culture also threatened to erode the countrys traditional moral character. As award-winning historian George M. Marsden explains in The Twilight of the American Enlightenment, postwar Americans looked to the countrys secular, liberal elites for guidance in this precarious time, but these intellectuals proved unable to articulate a coherent common cause by which America could chart its course. Their failure lost them the faith of their constituents, paving the way for a Christian revival that offered America a firm new moral vision—one rooted in the Protestant values of the founders.

A groundbreaking reappraisal of the countrys spiritual reawakening, The Twilight of the American Enlightenment shows how America found new purpose at the dawn of the Cold War.

Review:

"Under the surface of a seemingly placid era roiled a cauldron of doubts and discontent, according to this penetrating study of post-war intellectual ferment. Bancroft Prize — winning historian Marsden (Fundamentalism and American Culture) surveys the social and cultural developments that made the 1950s an unsettling time for contemporary thinkers: the menace of nuclear war; an affluent but shallow consumer society; the displacement of traditional authority and community by individualism; a new creed of science and psychology that eclipsed conventional religious doctrine; television. He sets these trends against a reigning orthodoxy of pragmatic liberalism that, he argues, hewed to the Enlightenment ideals of America's founders while abandoning their belief in a rational moral order, a theme that he explores through engaging, perceptive critical exegeses of the writings of contemporary public intellectuals, including Walter Lippmann, Betty Friedan, B. F. Skinner, and Reinhold Niebuhr. Through these critiques Marsden provocatively diagnoses the decay of a liberal ideology unmoored from philosophical foundations, a decay, he contends, that set the stage for the cultural revolution of the 1960s and a resurgent religious right in the 1970s. Marsden's erudite, sophisticated, but very accessible study reveals the suppressed spiritual hunger of a secular age." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780465030101
Author:
Marsden, George M.
Publisher:
Basic Books (AZ)
Author:
Marsden, George
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
US History - 20th Century
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20140231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
264
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Business » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Western Religions » Social and Political Issues

The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief New Hardcover
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Product details 264 pages Basic Books (AZ) - English 9780465030101 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Under the surface of a seemingly placid era roiled a cauldron of doubts and discontent, according to this penetrating study of post-war intellectual ferment. Bancroft Prize — winning historian Marsden (Fundamentalism and American Culture) surveys the social and cultural developments that made the 1950s an unsettling time for contemporary thinkers: the menace of nuclear war; an affluent but shallow consumer society; the displacement of traditional authority and community by individualism; a new creed of science and psychology that eclipsed conventional religious doctrine; television. He sets these trends against a reigning orthodoxy of pragmatic liberalism that, he argues, hewed to the Enlightenment ideals of America's founders while abandoning their belief in a rational moral order, a theme that he explores through engaging, perceptive critical exegeses of the writings of contemporary public intellectuals, including Walter Lippmann, Betty Friedan, B. F. Skinner, and Reinhold Niebuhr. Through these critiques Marsden provocatively diagnoses the decay of a liberal ideology unmoored from philosophical foundations, a decay, he contends, that set the stage for the cultural revolution of the 1960s and a resurgent religious right in the 1970s. Marsden's erudite, sophisticated, but very accessible study reveals the suppressed spiritual hunger of a secular age." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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