Culture and the Radical Conscience

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"Debates on culture, politics, and the university have hardly abated since the 1960s when the radical assault on the authority of culture first challenged the classical conception of higher education with imperious demands for relevance and ideological correctness. Since then, campus unrest on the part of students has given way to a radicalized faculty characterized by contempt for high culture, fetishization of pop culture, and increasing absorption by feminism and identity politics." "While this development has not gone unchallenged, most have
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Overview

"Debates on culture, politics, and the university have hardly abated since the 1960s when the radical assault on the authority of culture first challenged the classical conception of higher education with imperious demands for relevance and ideological correctness. Since then, campus unrest on the part of students has given way to a radicalized faculty characterized by contempt for high culture, fetishization of pop culture, and increasing absorption by feminism and identity politics." "While this development has not gone unchallenged, most have dismissed opponents of traditional scholarship as intellectual nihilists and anarchists. In contrast, Eugene Goodheart's Culture and the Radical Conscience recognizes the moral and cultural roots of radical and utopian tradition while deploring its tendency toward intolerance and narrowness. Goodheart defends the study of serious literature for its interplay of aesthetic response, alertness to political theme, and historical awareness."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In his new introduction, Goodheart (humanities, Brandeis U.) notes that the themes of the tensions between relevance and cultural authority, high culture and democracy, utopia and history, and art and politics, continue to preoccupy him as they had in his 1973 exploration of the roots of 1960s cultural radicalism in the US and England. Originally published by Harvard U. Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"A highly cogent, powerfully reasoned statement in defense of culture against its latter-day detractors." —Philip Rahv "A lively, tough, and learned brief for 'high culture' as the indispensable foundation of a university education. [Goodheart's] book deserves the scrupulous attention of everyone troubled by the seemingly irreversible degradation of standards in American intellectual life today." —Pearl K. Bell, The New Leader
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674179660
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1973
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.65 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Eugene Goodheart is Edytha Macy Gross Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Brandeis University. His books include Modernism and the Critical Spirit, The Cult of the Ego, and Confessions of a Secular Jew, all available from Transaction.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition
Introduction 1
Relevance and the Authority of Culture 5
Cultural Radicalism in America and England 29
The Humanities and Personal Knowledge 51
Literary Study and Radicalism 73
High Culture and Democracy 86
Utopia and the Irony of History 97
The Imagination and the Temptations of Politics 125
Ideology and Disinterestedness 150
Notes 165
Index 173
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