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Sincerity: How a Moral Ideal Born Five Hundred Years Ago Inspired Religious Wars, Modern Art, Hipster Chic, and the Curious Notio

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Sincerity: How a Moral Ideal Born Five Hundred Years Ago Inspired Religious Wars, Modern Art, Hipster Chic, and the Curious Notio Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

People have long been duped by “straight-talking” politicians, confessional talk-show hosts, and fake-earnest advertisers. As sincerity has become suspect, the upright and honest have taken refuge in irony. Yet our struggle for authenticity in back-to-the-woods movements, folksy songwriting, and a craving for plainspoken presidential candidates betrays our longing for the holy grail of sincerity.

Bringing deep historical perspective and a brilliant contemporary spin to Lionel Trilling’s 1972 Sincerity and Authenticity, R. Jay Magill Jr. argues that we can’t shake sincerity’s deep theological past, emotional resonance, and the sense of conscience it has carved in the Western soul. From Protestant theology to paintings by crazy people, from French satire to the anti-hipster movement, Magill navigates history, religion, art, and politics to create a portrait of an ideal that, despite its abuse, remains a strange magnetic north in our secular moral compass.

Review:

"Cultural critic Magill (Chic Ironic Bitterness) condenses 500 years of philosophy, religion, language, art, fashion, and politics into an energetic but dense analysis of the shifting meanings and uses of sincerity in Western Europe and the United States. His well-researched account (subtitled How a Moral Ideal Born Five Hundred Years Ago Inspired Religious Wars, Modern Art, Hipster Chic, and the Curious Notion That We All Have Something to Say (No Matter How Dull)) begins with the word's disputed linguistic origins and ends with Sarah Palin, who is 'certainly sincere in her belief that she is a maverick. She's just not right about it.' Along the way, readers encounter the court of Henry VIII, Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, Montaigne's library as he searches for 'honesty with himself,' and Machiavelli's claims that religion and politics 'should not cross.' Magill dissects the ambitions of Puritans, the maxims of La Rochefoucauld, and the Discourse of Rousseau, all while quoting liberally from other figures as he zooms to the 20th century. Nietzsche's claim that '‘sincerity finally turns against morality itself'' marks a shift. Enter Freud, then the Surrealists. Magill proves most lively as he brings the reader up to date; his Hipster Semiotic Appendix demonstrates his acuity and sense of humor. However, this burst of fun may be too little, too late, given the overwhelming nature of Magill's exhaustive sourcing. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A cultural and intellectual history of sincerity, from its emergence during the Protestant Reformation to its present incarnations and adversaries.

Synopsis:

People have long been duped by “straight-talking” politicians, confessional talk-show hosts, and fake-earnest advertisers. As sincerity has become suspect, the upright and honest have taken refuge in irony. Yet our struggle for authenticity in back-to-the-woods movements, folksy songwriting, and a craving for plainspoken presidential candidates betrays our longing for the holy grail of sincerity.

Bringing deep historical perspective and a brilliant contemporary spin to Lionel Trilling’s 1972 Sincerity and Authenticity, R. Jay Magill Jr. argues that we can’t shake sincerity’s deep theological past, emotional resonance, and the sense of conscience it has carved in the Western soul. From Protestant theology to paintings by crazy people, from French satire to the anti-hipster movement, Magill navigates history, religion, art, and politics to create a portrait of an ideal that, despite its abuse, remains a strange magnetic north in our secular moral compass.

About the Author

R. Jay Magill Jr., the author of Chic Ironic Bitterness, is an editor and writer at the American Academy in Berlin. He host the American Academy's NPR show, and his writing has appeared in publications including the American Interest and the New York Times.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393080988
Author:
Magill, R. Jay, Jr.
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Author:
Magill, R. Jay
Subject:
Modern
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20120731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10 illustrations
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » Economics » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Ethics
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Reference » Science Reference » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Philosophy General

Sincerity: How a Moral Ideal Born Five Hundred Years Ago Inspired Religious Wars, Modern Art, Hipster Chic, and the Curious Notio New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.06 In Stock
Product details 272 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393080988 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Cultural critic Magill (Chic Ironic Bitterness) condenses 500 years of philosophy, religion, language, art, fashion, and politics into an energetic but dense analysis of the shifting meanings and uses of sincerity in Western Europe and the United States. His well-researched account (subtitled How a Moral Ideal Born Five Hundred Years Ago Inspired Religious Wars, Modern Art, Hipster Chic, and the Curious Notion That We All Have Something to Say (No Matter How Dull)) begins with the word's disputed linguistic origins and ends with Sarah Palin, who is 'certainly sincere in her belief that she is a maverick. She's just not right about it.' Along the way, readers encounter the court of Henry VIII, Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, Montaigne's library as he searches for 'honesty with himself,' and Machiavelli's claims that religion and politics 'should not cross.' Magill dissects the ambitions of Puritans, the maxims of La Rochefoucauld, and the Discourse of Rousseau, all while quoting liberally from other figures as he zooms to the 20th century. Nietzsche's claim that '‘sincerity finally turns against morality itself'' marks a shift. Enter Freud, then the Surrealists. Magill proves most lively as he brings the reader up to date; his Hipster Semiotic Appendix demonstrates his acuity and sense of humor. However, this burst of fun may be too little, too late, given the overwhelming nature of Magill's exhaustive sourcing. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , A cultural and intellectual history of sincerity, from its emergence during the Protestant Reformation to its present incarnations and adversaries.
"Synopsis" by , People have long been duped by “straight-talking” politicians, confessional talk-show hosts, and fake-earnest advertisers. As sincerity has become suspect, the upright and honest have taken refuge in irony. Yet our struggle for authenticity in back-to-the-woods movements, folksy songwriting, and a craving for plainspoken presidential candidates betrays our longing for the holy grail of sincerity.

Bringing deep historical perspective and a brilliant contemporary spin to Lionel Trilling’s 1972 Sincerity and Authenticity, R. Jay Magill Jr. argues that we can’t shake sincerity’s deep theological past, emotional resonance, and the sense of conscience it has carved in the Western soul. From Protestant theology to paintings by crazy people, from French satire to the anti-hipster movement, Magill navigates history, religion, art, and politics to create a portrait of an ideal that, despite its abuse, remains a strange magnetic north in our secular moral compass.
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