Synopses & Reviews
Nonfiction. Politics. Literary Criticism THE MODERN PREDICAMENT is George Scialabba's second essay collection, following his acclaimed WHAT ARE INTELLECTUALS GOOD FOR? (Pressed Wafer, 2009). In 23 compact, lucid essays ranging across philosophy (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche), literature (D. H. Lawrence, T. S. Eliot), history (Michael Foucault, Christopher Lasch) and politics (Michael Harrington), Scialabba poses a number of searching questions, directly and eloquently, continually returning to one: Is moral progress possible, and at what price? In her introduction Barbara Ehrenreich writes, "As long as we exist as a species, we'll be debating what constitutes morality and virtue, and we could hardly have a better guide than George Scialabba." James Woods hails THE MODERN PREDICAMENT as a stimulating encounter with "one of America's best all-round intellects."
About the Author
George Scialabba was born (1948) and raised in East Boston, MA, and attended Harvard (AB, 1969) and Columbia (MA, 1972). He has been a social worker (Mass. Dept. of Public Welfare, 1974-80), a clerical worker (Harvard University, 1980 to the present), a faculty member of the Bennington Graduate Writing Seminars (2007-8), and a freelance book critic. His column, "New Thinking," appears bimonthly in the Boston Globe book section. In 1991 he was awarded the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing of the National Book Critics Circle. He is the author of THE MODERN PREDICAMENT (Pressed Wafer, 2011), the widely hailed WHAT ARE INTELLECTUALS GOOD FOR? (Pressed Wafer, 2009), and Divided Mind (Arrowsmith Press, 2006).