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Twilight of Authority [Paperback]

by Robert Nisbet
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

February 1, 2000 0865972125 978-0865972124 0
Modern Political Philosophy

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Twilight of Authority + The Quest for Community: A Study in the Ethics of Order and Freedom (Background: Essential Texts for the Conservative Mind) + The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865972125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865972124
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, As Expected March 3, 2002
Format:Paperback
Robert Nisbet was without a doubt one of the most creative and original thinkers in recent memory. His expertise was in sociology, but his works concerned history, politics and, more broadly, what might be called the history of ideas.

In 1975 - at the end of the Watergate Era - Nisbet came out with the TWILIGHT OF AUTHORITY, a work which contained for the most part material published in journals from 1969-1974. These were crucial times in American history, and Nisbet's perspective is invaluable.
As Nisbet indicates, modern society is marked by the expansion of the state and the decline in intermediary institutions. As government gets bigger, it becomes more corrupt. Lies became a way of life. Contrary to some conservatives, Nisbet didn't see Watergate is a minor scandal blown out of proportion by the leftist media. More than anything it showed how corrupt and venial government had become. It's now often forgotten how Americans were shocked at the vulgar language on the Nixon tapes. Of course, as Nisbet says, Kennedy and Johnson paved the way for Nixon. As government gets bigger, intermediate institutions get less powerful and lose influence over people's lives.
As usual, Nisbet is illuminating on any topic with which he deals. For example: the self-destruction of the Roman Catholic Church at Vatican II, the relationship between war and democracy, the decline in influence of the university, the takeover of science by the state, and even popular culture.
This edition contains an excellent introduction by Prof. R. Perrin. Unfortunately, it doesn't contain an index.
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