- Hardcover: 512 pages
- Publisher: Ivan R. Dee; Reprint edition (April 20, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1566637066
- ISBN-13: 978-1566637060
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,262,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Counterpoints: 25 Years of The New Criterion on Culture and the Arts Reprint Edition
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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)
Top customer reviews
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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 obligation...to 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.
Fifty years from now this volume will be read as an indispensable primary source for the cultural history of our times. My hope is that some future historian will compile a companion volume of the most drivelsome reviews and essays published in the leading orthodox organs of the same period. To be done properly, this companion work would have to stretch back at least far enough to incorporates such forgotten capi di lavoro as The Greening of America, since the imbecilities of the last twenty-five years evolved well before The New Criterion began its work.
The editor of the proposed compilation will have to burrow laboriously into a huge midden heap of discarded intellectual trash. Happily we can dispense with such grimy and sordid sifting. This collection provides a more than adequate overview of the cultural pathologies of our times, and does so elegantly. There is not one awkward or obscure sentence in its 484 pages, and a good many gems of critical panache and wit.
Its most satisfying feature is the way it combines demolition and affirmation.
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.The New Criterion does more than commemorate and enshrine. It also counterattacks which it does in an entertaining and lethal fashion. Its artful and erudite tone does not diminish its impact. This should not surprise us as Evander Holyfield also fought like a gentleman, but woe to the fool who stepped into one of his combinations.
In these days of insane educational inflation, the most important question to ask in regards to this book is how many college courses is it worth? Five? Ten? Fifteen? I guess the answer depends on the particular university and how "engaged" their professors happen to be. When the search for truth has been abandoned and truth itself has been demoted to one of many competing "perspectives," the fruit of this journal is one of the few ways in which the young can discern veritas.