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Counterpoints: 25 Years of The New Criterion on Culture and the Arts Hardcover – April 20, 2007

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Counterpoints: 25 Years of The New Criterion on Culture and the Arts + The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art + The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Ivan R. Dee; Reprint edition (April 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566637066
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566637060
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 6.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,113,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The book, like the magazine, features dose after dose of emperor-has-no-clothes truth-telling. The cumulative effect is bracing. (Brian C. Anderson Book Review Digest )

Counterpoints has a little something for everyone. Recommended. (Ohio Conservative )

Not so much ideologically pure as it is critically pure. Quality governs...Everyone else, get this book. It will enrich you. (Roger L. Simon Pajama's Media )

An anthology of some of its best essays on literature, history, fine arts, theater, music, and world affairs. (Thomas Meaney New York Sun )

The sheer range and variety of the essays in this volume is, of course, a tribute to the catholicity of the editors, Hilton Kramer and Roger Kimball, who between them have a detailed knowledge and acute feelings about most of the glories of our culture, as well as strictly disciplined detestation of trends and individuals that disgrace it. They make an unusually well-matched team, and both make characteristic contributions to this volume. (Paul Johnson, Bowling Green State University The American Spectator )

This book is something of an omnium gatherum. (Raymond Carr The Spectator )

About the Author

Roger Kimball and Hilton Kramer are co-editors and co-publishers of The New Criterion. Mr. Kimball's other books include The Rape of the Masters, Art's Prospect, The Long March, Lives of the Mind, Experiments Against Reality, and Tenured Radicals. He lives in South Norwalk, Connecticut. Mr. Kramer, former chief art critic of the New York Times, has also written The Triumph of Modernism, The Twilight of the Intellectuals, The Revenge of the Philistines, and The Age of the Avant-Garde. He lives in Damariscotta, Maine. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Hilton Kramer and Roger Kimball are to be congratulated for their editorship of this excellent journal.
Joseph Hartmann
Theodore Dalrymple's examination of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and its possible effect on our society is a particular pleasure.
There is not one awkward or obscure sentence in its 484 pages, and a good many gems of critical panache and wit.
John N. Frary

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Hartmann on April 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
COUNTERPOINTS: The New Criterion celebrates its 25th anniversary with this collection of essays by some of the most influential critics in the English language.

The mere fact that a conservative journal of cultural criticism not only survives but thrives after 25 years should earn The New Criterion first place in the pantheon of great achievements. After all, TS Eliot's Criterion survived only 17 years in a much friendlier cultural milieu. Separating beauty from dross, right from wrong, good from evil has been the forte of TNC. This is not an easy accomplishment in a culture where "anything goes".

The monthly arrival of the journal brings anticipation, excitement, and obligation. It is not possible to read these articles without a sense that something has been amiss in one's education. Regular readers know the responsibility felt after a new edition introduces them to authors and artists and controversies which, if not unknown to the reader, were at least unappreciated. Thus the read more, to learn more and thus savor life more fully.

Above all, this sort of criticism requires judgement...a philosophy that some things are indeed better than others and it is the former that should be promoted and the latter identified and decried. The contributors are the kind of people with whom one would want to share a glass of port: Mark Steyn, Robert Bork, David Pryce Jones, Roger Scruton, Heather MacDonald. Joseph Epstein, Theodore Dalrymple, Gertrude Himmelfarb. The best and the brightest of our time. Hilton Kramer and Roger Kimball are to be congratulated for their editorship of this excellent journal. And all of us should buy this book, pull a chair up to the fire, and sip that port.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By PJ on April 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The New Criterion, Hilton Kramer and Roger Kimball's journal of culture and the arts, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. To commemorate the occasion, Kramer and Kimball have put out a new anthology of essays from the magazine, Counterpoints. This is not a work of poetry, but in fulfilling Horace's dictum it is both delightful and instructive.

The aim of The New Criterion, the editors tell us in their short introduction, paraphrasing Eliot, is to "foster common concern for the highest standards of both thought and expression" and to "discharge `our common preserve our common culture uncontaminated by political influences.'" In an era when Western culture is constantly under attack from within by relativists and from without by recidivists, and art has descended to little more than political propaganda by other means, this mission is more important than ever. The essays chosen for inclusion in this volume distill TNC's work splendidly.

Most of the great political issues of the past quarter century are discussed in Counterpoints. Are you concerned about Islamic jihadists? Read Mark Steyn on demography and David Fromkin on Turkey. Has immigration got your goat? Roger Scruton examines Enoch Powell, the British politician whose career was lost when he riled up an early PC mob. Care to revisit the Cold War? Roger Kimball and David Prcye-Jones discuss the gulag and the West's useful idiots, respectively. Keith Windschuttle battles anti-Americanism by exposing the hypocrisy of Noam Chomsky and Mordecai Richler shows us the rest of the world's warts with Mark Twain's The Innocents Abroad.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Chapin on May 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The New Criterion is the most highbrow of conservative publications and one of the most intellectually rewarding and in these pages only the best of their best is on display; for the mind this is an inspiring feast. A myriad of themes are developed but the one most ubiquitous is that western civilization is in serious decline and it is impossible to know how much further it will deteriorate. In 2007, the radicals are no longer at the gates; they have melted them down and turned them into loud speakers. They have tainted the west's intellectual inheritance with one of their many interlocking isms, and the young have been persuaded that war, slavery, and dehumanization are our main cultural achievements.

It is here, upon a blistering and torrid battlefield, that The New Criterion asserts itself. Their purpose is in keeping the immortal words of George Santayana that "the best men in all ages keep classic traditions alive." A standard motif of every issue is to rehabilitate verboten cerebrals or those who do not fit into the sound byte parameters of our society. This volume resurrects a great many figures. The title of a composition by Brooke Allen asks "Who Was Simon Raven?" but readers will no cause to echo her after once they are finished. The same can be said of other unfashionable personages like John Buchan, Leigh Fermor, Milton Avery, F.R. Leavis, and Donald Francis Tovey.

Every person and idea that the journal places into our consciousness acts as a partial antidote to the neurotoxin of political correctness, and builds an infrastructure upon which we can better understand our world. Nowadays, unfortunately, truth exists almost entirely outside the purview of the race, class, and sex Commissars infesting our universities.
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