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Follow the Author
The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy Kindle Edition
From Publishers Weekly
that the book is too dense, its focus blurred rather than clarified by its scattershot range.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B00D8UOBRW
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; Revised ed. edition (January 17, 1996)
- Publication date : January 17, 1996
- Language : English
- File size : 1760 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 288 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #92,636 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Sound familiar? The striking thing is that this is a posthumous publication, consisting of a number of previously-published pieces dating to the early 90's. In other words, Lasch was anxiously contemplating these present realities over thirty years ago. The reader should realize, however, that while the book announces a central thesis many of the pieces contained here are tangential to the principal subject. On the other hand, the abandonment of western values by the so-called elites is such an all-encompassing subject that the constituent parts of the book all bear some relation to the main subject.
Lasch is often labeled 'conservative' but he spares no one from his analyses and often adds a stinging tail to those analyses. (See, for example, his remarks—pp. 192-93—on the radicalization of the humanities. He notes that, ultimately, the 'radicals' are corporate beings, seeking tenure via shortcuts. Ultimately they threaten no real vested interests [except, of course, traditional scholarship] and fully participate in the corporatization of the university, what should be the true object of our concern.) He confronts controversial subjects head-on and inevitably has pungent things to say. On race, for example:
"The thinking classes seem to labor under the delusion that they alone have overcome racial prejudice. The rest of the country, in their view, remains incorrigibly racist. Their eagerness to drag every conversation back to race is enough in itself to invite the suspicion that their investment in this issue exceeds anything that is justified by the actual state of race relations. Monomania is not a sign of good judgment" (p. 90).
I would invite potential readers to utilize Amazon's "Look Inside" feature to survey the subjects of the book's 13 chapters. All are interesting. Lasch is never dull, he is always knowledgeable concerning his subjects and he always draws blood.
Highly recommended (with the caveat that this is largely a collection of separate essays).
In these past couple of years much attention has been paid to the threats to democracy posed by the re-emergence of populism, protectionism, nationalism, authoritarian demagogues, conspiracy theories and fear of immigration. Lasch's book shows how and why these recent forces have encountered little resistance from the already eroded democracies in America and elsewhere.
Top reviews from other countries
But that's not all. The Left, or what remains of it, has swallowed the same rat poison and joined the elites, abandoning ordinary people for elitist ideas and the gobbledegook of "isms" which have proliferated like weeds. Ordinary people simply don't count any more.
Not all of Lach's criticisms are fair: like a lot of Anglo-Saxons he doesn't really understand post-modernism, and looking back now, it's clear that it never had any real influence outside University literature departments.
That said, a book which is even more important today than it was when it was written, given that the elites have, pretty much, now won.