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A slightly forbidding introduction to a book, but indicative of its author's disgust at the homogenized McWorld in which we live, and an enticing challenge to read on. As the title The Twilight of American Culture suggests, Morris Berman's outlook is somewhat bleak. Analogizing the contemporary United States to the late Roman Empire, Berman sees a nation fat on useless consumption, saturated with corporate ideology, and politically, psychically, and culturally dulled. But he believes that this behemoth--what Thomas Frank called the "multinational entertainment oligopoly"--must buckle under its own weight. His hope for a brighter tomorrow lies in a modern monastic movement, in which keepers of the enlightenment flame resist the constant barrage of "spin and hype." Ironically, despite his disdain for "the fashionable patois of postmodernism," he approvingly quotes poststructuralist theorist Jean-François Lyotard's maxim "elitism for everybody" in describing this cadre of idiosyncratic, literate devotees, these new monks.
Berman is plainspoken and occasionally caustic. The Twilight of American Culture is an informed and thought-provoking book, a wake-up call to a nation whose powerful minority has become increasingly self-satisfied as their stock options ripen, while an underclass that vastly outnumbers the e-generation withers on the vine and cannot locate itself on any map. It is a quick and savage read that aims to get your eyes off this computer, your nose out of that self-help book, and send you back to thought and action. --J.R. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Remarkably prescient, and actually provides a suggestion for a solution, although whether or not it would work is anyone's guess. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Book Lover
"Twilight" inspires even in its dour forecast for America. In a compelling bricolage of literary and social criticism, Berman lucidly articulates how the nation is... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Abner Rosenweig
As it happened I read Berman's last three books about the decline of the U.S. in reverse order. I found this one to be the weakest of the three. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mexico Express
The Twilight of American Culture is among the best written inconvenient truths about where we are now in the 21st century --- despite the distractions and delusions many engage in... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Moore No Less
If you really want to know what America is really about, read all of Morris Berman's books. He explains in detail how we started, how we got to the point where we are today, and... Read morePublished 19 months ago by TopDownFit
If you are identified as a consumer rather than a citizen, this book could make you angry. However, if you don't fit the pattern of the average American described by Christopher... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Zakir L. Henson
I love this text so much. It is very quickly read and has digestible statistics that might make you groan. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Michael Brown
I write from a British perspective & as someone who had a traditional british liberal education. I agree it is on the wane & often feel like "an expatriate in my own country" -... Read morePublished on October 20, 2013 by shufti
If you have a gnawing sense that things aren't what they should be, that the grand rhetoric of American exceptionalism is really little more than bad propaganda, you're not alone. Read morePublished on September 20, 2013 by Norman A. Pattis