In the aftermath of World War II, America stood alone as the world's premier military power. Yet its martial confidence contrasted vividly with its sense of cultural inferiority. Still looking to a defeated and dispirited Europe for intellectual and artistic guidance, burgeoning transnational elite in New York and Washington embraced not only the war's refugees but many of their ideas as well, and nothing has proven more pernicious than those of the Frankfurt School and its reactionary philosophy of "critical theory". At once overly intellectualized and emotionally juvenile, critical theory - like Pandora's box - released a horde of demons into the American psyche. When everything could be questioned, nothing could be real, and the muscular, confident empiricism that had just won the war gave way, in less than a generation, to a Central European nihilism celebrated on college campuses across the United States. In The Devil's Pleasure Palace, Michael Walsh looks at how critical theory took root in America and came to affect nearly every aspect of American life and society - and what can be done to stop it.
©2015 Michael Walsh (P)2015 Tantor
Although I share most of Mr Walsh's attitudes and am in fact even more to the Right than he, this book desperately needed an editor. Meandering and crossing back over the same turf, without any organizing principle I could find --except self-indulgently showing off his knowledge of German opera in German-- this repetitive and labyrinthine ramble frustrated me so much that I gave up by Chapter 10.
Walsh provides a devastating critique of critical theory in an interesting and intellectually robust fashion. Even those who embrace such notions should at least listen to this audio presentation.
Woven throughout are references to the foundational stories of Western civilization. It's more than just a dry diatribe against distant philosophical hair-splitting.
Brilliant! The writing, history, and artistic structure are masterful; the thesis is spot on; and the performance is pitch perfect. Mr. Walsh has written a robust defense of Western Culture and supported it with art, music, history, and philosophy. Structuring the defense around Faust is masterful in itself and the performance just rounds out that mastery. Having thus far listened just once, but planning to begin a second listen on tomorrow's morning commute, I can only imagine this will be one of those staples one returns to; like The Lessons of History, A Christmas Carol, Good Omens, or The Everlasting Man. Thank you, Mr. Walsh, for gloriously defending our culture and being willing to identify the logical, nihilistic end of today's post-modern cynicism that masquerades as culture... (from an admitted Kahaniac).
Think of the weird relationship between Islam and the political left. Ever wonder why? This book takes you to the root of the problem.
An essential read for everyone in Western culture. This book clearly leads one to question the origins and implications of the social justice movement, and provides an extremely well developed examination of its birth from nihilism and communism. I would recommend this book to anyone seeking an intellectual and rational approach to the subject, as opposed to an emotional one.
This is a great read for those wishing to be more informed about the a effort to restructure Western Civilization.
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