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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps The Only Sane Way Forward, July 16, 2007
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John A. Van Devender "Gadfly" (Millersville, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Visions of Order: The Cultural Crisis of Our Times (Paperback)
There is a prophetic element in Weaver's writings which prove uncannily accurate. As the sub-title explicitly states - this book is about THE cultural crisis of our time and yet it was written 50 years ago. What Weaver does very well is distill the multitudes and complexities of impressions about "what's wrong out there" into a cohesive, thoughtful, but by no means simplistic analysis. In essence he states that man has lost sight of culture as a field of endeavor, a forum for the pursuit of personal nobility, and has given up on himself in the process. He opposes the modern idea that culture is a byproduct of man's existence not the expression of his ideals.

Weaver does not have a problem with science, as mistakenly stated in a previous comment. He has a problem with scientism. He understands man in terms of potential and mystery, both of which are necessary and both of which may be abused as well as improved. He understands that only through a conscious return to cultural aspiration can mankind hope to withstand the assault of barbarianism. In his closing chapter he sums it up concisely and eloquently.

"...culture is a protection against fanaticism both of the political and the religious kinds." These are words we need to hear in our immediate context. The book develops the background and analysis on which this conclusion is reached.

It is well worth the effort needed to read and understand this book.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weaver's clearest argumentation on conservatism, February 9, 2001
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This review is from: Visions of Order: The Cultural Crisis of Our Times (Paperback)
This book marks the third in Weaver's series, following Ideas Have Consequences and The Ethics of Rhetoric. Some of his arguments here are similar, but he communicates them much more clearly in this volume. Visions of Order also contains some of his best writing. His essays The Cultural Role of Rhetoric and Gnostics of Education both eloquently expound an orginal insight that complements his work very well. Weaver writes about the problem of modern liberalism. He sites areas where liberal thought rejects the notions of culture and form, and he defends the order in conservative communities which he feels best provide a home for man.
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Visions of Order: The Cultural Crisis of Our Times
Visions of Order: The Cultural Crisis of Our Times by Richard Weaver (Paperback - April 1995)
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