February 23rd 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Something rotten led to fish-kill: perhaps fishy environmentalism

EDITORIAL Resistance grows to Beijing's soft-power push

CANBERRA OBSERVED Climate change: deadly ... to political leaders

TECHNOLOGY Electric cars: UK taxpayers subsidise rich greenies

BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION A step too small?

CYBER SECURITY Chinese smartphone threat extends way beyond Huawei

SOCIETY Such grandeur of spirit

POLITICS John Hewson should have as sturdy a Constitution

FINANCE Hayne royal commission sets agenda for bank reform

FAMILY RELATIONS Dad: a girl's first and most influential love

COMMENTARY Words gone feral: rights and equality

MEDICINE AND CULTURE Book captures tragedy of falling foul of a fanatic

SOCIETY AND CULTURE A dog's life: reflections of a grey nomad

HUMOUR

MUSIC Serialism a killer: Ideas tend to get in the way

CINEMA Cold Pursuit: Revenge served up manic

BOOK REVIEW Why the West and nowhere else

BOOK REVIEW The escalation of horror and atrocity

LETTERS

Books promotion page

OUT OF THE ASHES:
Rebuilding American Culture

Anthony Esolen

$47.99


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Book description

What do you do when an entire civilization is crumbling around you? You do everything. This is a book about how to get started.

Providence College professor Anthony Esolen, blunt and prophetic, makes the case that the decay of Western civilization is alarmingly advanced. Our sickly, sub-pagan state resembles a bombed-out city.

We have to assess the damage, but merely lamenting it does no good. There is work to be done.

The first step is the restoration of truth. America’s most powerful institutions—including the government—are mass producers of deceit. We have to recognize the lies and clear our minds of cant.

Our culture produces only the drab or the garish. We must restore beauty—in art, architecture, music, and worship.

There are two things wrong with our schools—everything our children don’t learn in them, and everything they do learn. Public schools are beyond reform; we have to start over.

Our universities are as bad as our schools. A few can be saved, but for the most part, we must build new ones. In fact, this is already being done. We have to support these efforts as if our children’s souls depended on it.

Repudiating the Sexual Revolution, that prodigious engine of misery, requires more than zipping up. The modern world has made itself ignorant about sex—in particular that there are two of them and they’re profoundly different. We must restore manhood and womanhood.

In our servile economy, we raise bureaucrats not craftsmen. We must rediscover how to make things that are beautiful and lasting—the products of human work. And we must dispense with the “rent-seekers”—the proliferating middlemen whose own work contributes nothing.

We have turned sports into a job for our children. Instead of playing we “work out.” A genuine civilisation is based on celebration. We must restore play to human life, seeing all the other days of the week in light of the Sabbath.

The gigantic scale of government has made us a nation of “idiots,” incapable of attending to public affairs and the common good. We must insist that the Constitution is not whatever judges say it is, complying with but not obeying their edicts while we reclaim our freedom of religion one outdoor procession, one public lecture, one parish picnic at a time.

We must love this world, but we have here no abiding city. The great division is between those who place all their hope in the present life and those who know that we are pilgrims. There is no retreat, but take courage—we have our map. Let us begin.

Reviews

“Reading Anthony Esolen is a bit like a ride on your favourite roller-coaster. Out of the Ashes is an astonishing combination of energy, humour, insight, and exceptional erudition, topped off by a vivid personal style and a special gift for tweaking the nose of secularist nonsense-peddlers. If you’re looking for a guide to our current cultural predicament (and how to fix it), one that’s sobering and invigorating at the same time, start with this book.” —CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia

“Anthony Esolen is one of our nation’s best writers because he’s one of our best thinkers. Out of the Ashes is vintage Esolen: eloquent, bold, insightful, profound.” —RYAN T. ANDERSON, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation, and author of Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom

“Our culture suffers from many debilitating diseases. Anthony Esolen’s voice is a much-needed tonic. Here’s hoping America heeds his counsel.”

—R. R. RENO, editor of First Things and author of Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society

Out of the Ashes is a full-throated, stout-hearted call to arms—soul-stirring, uncompromising, and irresistible.” —ROD DREHER, author of The Benedict Option

About the author

Anthony Esolen is a professor of English at Providence College and a senior editor of Touchstone magazine. He is the editor and translator of several epic poems, including the three volumes of Dante's Divine Comedy. His published works include Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child (2015) and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization (2008). He lives in Rhode Island with his wife, Debra, and his two children.

 


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