The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization

by Anthony Esolen
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization

by Anthony Esolen



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Everything you should know--but PC professors won't teach--about Western heritage.

Western civilization is the envy of the globe. It has given to the world universally accepted understandings of human rights (rooted in Judeo-Christian principles), created standards for art, music, and literature that have never been equaled, and originated political and social systems that have spread all across the planet.

Political correctness now obscures these and other truths about Western civilization. Leftists and Islamic jihadists find common cause in assailing Western "colonialism," "imperialism," and "racism" as its defining characteristics. Guilt-ridden Western leaders and public figures speak of their cultural patrimony in disparaging terms they would never dare to use about a non-Western culture. And in universities, "multicultural"-minded professors flatter students into believing they have nothing really to learn from Sophocles or Shakespeare.

But now, Professor Anthony Esolen--one of the team-teachers of Providence College's esteemed Development of Western Civilization Core Curriculum--has risen to the West's defense. The Politically Incorrect Guide(TM) to Western Civilization takes on the prevailing liberal assumptions that make Western civilization the universal whipping boy for today's global problems - and introduces you to the significant events, individuals, nations, ideas, and artistic achievements that make Western civilization the greatest the world has ever known.

Today, defending the West has become an urgent imperative: if we don't value what we have and what we have inherited, we will surely lose it.The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to Western Civilization is an essential sourcebook for that defense.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596980662
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date: 05/27/2008
Series: The Politically Incorrect Guides
Format: eBook
Pages: 340
Sales rank: 898,206
File size: 895 KB

About the Author

Anthony Esolen, Professor of English at Providence College, is the editor and translator of the Modern Library edition of Dante's Divine Comedy. He has published scholarly articles on Spenser, Shakespeare, Dante, and Tasso in various journals and is a senior editor and frequent contributor to Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity.

Table of Contents

Preface     xi
Ancient Greece: Love of Wisdom and Beauty     1
Laws that cannot be amended
Athens: Better than the rest
Father, not mother
The Greek Isles effect
Tradition and the natural law
Athenian relativists
Beauty is not merely in the eye of the beholder
The universal Good
The State and the end of man
Rome: An Empire of Tradition and Patriarchy     39
Respecting your elders
Father knows best
Tradition's wisdom vs. democracy's fickleness
Peace through strength
The real reason Rome fell
Israel: How God Changed the World     67
A God above nature, not a nature god
Not a political god, but the King of kings
Knowing God yields science
They that humble themselves shall be exalted
A thousand years are as a day
Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews
The peace of God that passeth understanding
The Early Church: Charity and Tolerance Are Born     97
How Christianity saved the West
Christianity brings equality and tolerance
The State, that pagan god
How Christians elevated culture
The truth about heretics
The Good News brings charity
The High Middle Ages: The Bright Ages     131
Islam vs. civilization
Warmer is better-someone tell Al Gore
Ruggedly alive
The Bright Ages: Life in the cathedrals
Drama's rebirth: Another fruit of Christianity
PC myth: The Middle Ages were the Dark Ages
When love and nature were richer
PC trope: Dancing angels and pinheads
Before PC: When intellectual curiosity could thrive
The Renaissance: It'sNot What You Think     167
The PC myths about the Renaissance
Is there a nature in this man?
Honoring the past
Shakespeare on his knees
Where the Renaissance went wrong: Undermining authority
The Enlightenment: Liberty and Tyranny     203
The will enslaved
"Enlightenment" yields tyranny
Ecrasez l'infame!
The Pilgrim Fathers
Conservative Founders?
America's forgotten models: Rome and Athens
Saving reason from itself
Rousseau and the State
Samuel Johnson
The Nineteenth Century: Man Is a God; Man Is a Beast     243
The Romantics' new religion: Nature
Worshipping man
What the Industrial Revolution wrought
Is there such a thing as bad art?
Nietzsche: The honest atheist
Conservative champions of human dignity
The Twentieth Century: A Century of Blood     281
Walter Mitty, rugged individual
The empire strikes back
The health of the State, the poverty of the soul
Art from the people; Art against the people
Science without knowledge
The Pill's bitter effects
History can restore us
Notes     311
Index     329
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