- Series: Oxford World's Classics
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (December 11, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192805118
- ISBN-13: 978-0192805119
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.6 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,274,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Culture and Anarchy (Oxford World's Classics)
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Major work of criticism by Matthew Arnold, published in 1869. In it Arnold contrasts culture, which he defines as "the study of perfection," with anarchy, the prevalent mood of England's then new democracy, which lacks standards and a sense of direction. Arnold classified English society into the Barbarians (with their lofty spirit, serenity, and distinguished manners and their inaccessibility to ideas), the Philistines (the stronghold of religious nonconformity, with plenty of energy and morality but insufficient "sweetness and light"), and the Populace (still raw and blind). He saw in the Philistines the key to culture; they were the most influential segment of society; their strength was the nation's strength, their crudeness its crudeness; it therefore was necessary to educate and humanize the Philistines. Arnold saw in the idea of "the State," and not in any one class of society, the true organ and repository of the nation's collective "best self." No summary can do justice to Culture and Anarchy, however; it is written with an inward poise, a serene detachment, and an infusion of subtle humor that make it a masterpiece of ridicule as well as a searching analysis of Victorian society. The same is true of its sequel, Friendship's Garland (1871). -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Without the challenging precedent of 'Culture and Anarchy, ' literary criticism and sociology in England and the United States would want both purpose and direction. Manifesting the special intelligence of a literary critic of original gifts, 'Culture and Anarchy' is still a living classic. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The style is very much of its time, and may seem circuitous and precious to a modern reader. But it IS a keen essay on the forces shaping English social thought at the
time, and a lot of what Arnold says applies to our nation today--the deep divisions, the treasuring of party over society, the moronic worship of money and growth over humanity. It is an honest attempt to get us to think about why we think and act as we do. He attempts to ask us to reconsider our rush to self-destruction for the sake of ideology, stereotyping, and fear.