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Eliot and His Age: T. S. Eliot’s Moral Imagination in the Twentieth Century Paperback – July 15, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1933859538 ISBN-10: 1933859539 Edition: 2nd

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Eliot and His Age: T. S. Eliot’s Moral Imagination in the Twentieth Century + Christianity and Culture + Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 2 edition (July 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933859539
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933859538
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 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: #881,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Russell Kirk (1918–94) was an independent man of letters whose best-known book is The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot. Several of his other books, including The American Cause, The Roots of American Order, The Politics of Prudence, Redeeming the Time, and The Sword of Imagination, are available from ISI Books.

New introduction by Benjamin G. Lockerd Jr.  

Lockerd is a professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Grand Valley State University. He is a former president of the T. S. Eliot Society and is currently on the society’s board of directors. His books include The Sacred Marriage: Psychic Integration in “The Faerie Queene” and Aethereal Rumours: T. S. Eliot’s Physics and Poetics.

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Customer Reviews

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I first read Kirk's book just out of college in the early 1990's.
John E. Rocha
Although written, and subsequently revised, in 1971, this biography of T. S. Eliot remains - still- the "go to," preeminent book on the life of the great bard.
THOMAS JENSEN
The fact that Kirk was a friend of Eliot's gives the book great strength and objectivity.
Andy Younan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John E. Rocha on July 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
I first read Kirk's book just out of college in the early 1990's. It guided me to more fully understand the worldview, which I had and in which Eliot and Kirk were my guides. I highly recommend this book for all students of modernity and poetry who are beginning to grapple with Eliot and his thought as well as those who are well versed in Eliot. Kirk's prose is one to study as there no one better at the end of the 20th century. Lockerd's "Introduction" intertwines these two men of letters intellectually, spiritually, and uniquely through "philía". As Eliot continues to be studied and sometimes emasculated by critics, Lockerd turns us back to this often forgotten text for it is an original study of Eliot. Russell Kirk examines and properly refutes the political and racist charges made against Eliot today, but Kirk did this in 1971! Readers should be aware that Kirk is not openly defending Eliot, but rather giving a proper examination to his writings, both poetical and cultural critiques as well as Eliot's relationships. Remember to begin to understand a person; one must first look at the friends around him.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Joseph A. Harder on May 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recently, the National Review On-Line "corner', carried scornful, ignorant remarks about Eliot by three marginally talented literary hacks: The glib 'popular mathematics" writer, John Derbyshire, whose literary reputation rests on a fairly good novel about a Chinese immigrants fascination with Calvin Coolidge, and who is stupid enough to find Joyce Kilmer's "Trees" a great poem, the talented polemicist ( and frankly, tedious Star Trek enthusiast, Jonah Goldberg),and finally, the film critic for the Weekly Standard, who apparently owes his position, not to his rather meager intellectual virtues, or his very limited taste, but to the fact that he is the son of two very gifted neo-conservative publicists. ( What IS his name again? No matter, it' not important.)
Nothing, I think, could better illustrate the vulgarity and decadence of much- not all- but much of contemporary "conservativism" than such dismissals of the greatest Conservative-and Christian- literary figure and intellectual of the twentieth century. This book-which I urge every intelligent young conservative to read- is a powerful antidote. ( incidentally, it also reminds us of how intelligent the conservative movement in this country used to be.) It is a humane, generous, beautifully written,and beautifully thought out book of great learning, with surprises on virtually every page. Eliot was not without flaws and blindspots, but this book reminds us of the depth of his moral imagination, the acuteness of his mind, and the breadth of his intellectual and human sympathies. READ it..it is the next best thing to reading Eliot himself.
One caveat. The copy I got from Amazon.com has poor binding. The first eight pages actually fell out. the problem is, how do I contact Amazon.com to get a less shoddily bound replacement? I have searched this web-site, and found no place to issue consumer complaints.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Deignan on March 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
Thomas Stearns (T.S.) Eliot: agonized Prufrock, Waste Land seeker, penitent of the turning stairs, statesman of the still unspeaking and unspoken Word, craftsman of the Quartets. His was the Twentieth Century; Eliot was the preeminent man of arts and letters who descried the waterless, wind-chapped moral imagination and the inroads against all things beautiful and eternal. Russell Kirk’s revealing and rich biography of this poet, dramatist, and essayist—“Eliot and His Age: T.S. Eliot’s Moral Imagination in the Twentieth Century”—is the finest record of Eliot available. A confidant and student of Eliot’s, Kirk treats his subject with unparalleled insight and care. The result is a book that is as much literary scholarship as it is a chronicle of a man’s life.

Long the bane of any high school (and college) English student, Eliot is unquestionably a challenging poet to approach, and he is best known for his early work: “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “The Waste Land,” and “The Hollow Men.” There is no denying the sheer power of these three pieces, but, as Kirk shows us, they are only the beginning of Eliot’s progression as an artist and thinker. The glimpses of hell provided in the early works give way to the purgatorial climb of “Ash Wednesday” and, finally, the sublime visions of Paradise glimmering throughout “The Four Quartets.” In each case, Kirk provides ample biographical evidence to unravel the mysteries within the poems and present us with a coherent view of their aesthetic (not to mention, philosophical) achievements.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By THOMAS JENSEN on August 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although written, and subsequently revised, in 1971, this biography of T. S. Eliot remains - still- the "go to," preeminent book on the life of the great bard. Kirk does a wonderful job of showing how Eliot's life shaped his poetry. Most often, Eliot's life experiences went into his work. This is forever the case in the discussion of "The Waste Land."

Although Kirk left us in 1994, this great work opens up a new generation to the greatness of poetry and the greatness of T. S. Eliot. I most especially like how the myth of Eliot's facism and anti-semitism were fabulously destroyed by Kirk.

If you own anything by Eliot, you should own this book!
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