The Shipwrecked Mind

The Shipwrecked Mind
Author: Mark Lilla
Pages: 168
ISBN: 9781590179031
Available:
Release: 2016-09-06
Editor: New York Review of Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

We don’t understand the reactionary mind. As a result, argues Mark Lilla in this timely book, the ideas and passions that shape today’s political dramas are unintelligible to us. The reactionary is anything but a conservative. He is as radical and modern a figure as the revolutionary, someone shipwrecked in the rapidly changing present, and suffering from nostalgia for an idealized past and an apocalyptic fear that history is rushing toward catastrophe. And like the revolutionary his political engagements are motivated by highly developed ideas. Lilla begins with three twentieth-century philosophers—Franz Rosenzweig, Eric Voegelin, and Leo Strauss—who attributed the problems of modern society to a break in the history of ideas and promoted a return to earlier modes of thought. He then examines the enduring power of grand historical narratives of betrayal to shape political outlooks since the French Revolution, and shows how these narratives are employed in the writings of Europe’s right-wing cultural pessimists and Maoist neocommunists, American theoconservatives fantasizing about the harmony of medieval Catholic society and radical Islamists seeking to restore a vanished Muslim caliphate. The revolutionary spirit that inspired political movements across the world for two centuries may have died out. But the spirit of reaction that rose to meet it has survived and is proving just as formidable a historical force. We live in an age when the tragicomic nostalgia of Don Quixote for a lost golden age has been transformed into a potent and sometimes deadly weapon. Mark Lilla helps us to understand why.

The Shipwrecked Mind

The Shipwrecked Mind
Author: Mark Lilla
Pages: 145
ISBN: 9781590179024
Available:
Release: 2016
Editor: New York Review of Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"We don't understand the reactionary mind. As a result, argues Mark Lilla in this timely book, the ideas and passions that shape today's political dramas are unintelligible to us. The reactionary is anything but a conservative. He is as radical and modern a figure as the revolutionary, someone shipwrecked inthe rapidly changing present, and suffering from nostalgia for an idealized past and an apocalyptic fear that history is rushing toward catastrophe. And like the revolutionary his political engagements are motived by highly developed ideas. Lilla unveils the structure of reactionary thinking, beginning with three twentieth-century philosophers--Franz Rosenzweig, Eric Voegelin, and Leo Strauss --who attributed the problems of modern society to a break in the history of ideas and promoted a return to earlier modes of thought. He then examines the enduring power of grand historical narratives of betrayal to shape political outlooks ever since the French Revolution. These narratives are employed to serve different, and sometimes expressly opposed, ends. They appear in the writings of Europe's right-wing cultural pessimists and Maoist neocommunists, American theoconservatives fantasizing about the harmony of medieval Catholic society and radical Islamists seeking to restore a vanished Muslim caliphate. The revolutionary spirit that inspired political movements across the world for two centuries may have died out. But the spirit of reaction that rose to meet it has survived and is proving just as formidable a historical force. We live in an age when thetragicomic nostalgia of Don Quixote for a lost golden age has been transformed into a potent and sometimes deadly weapon. Mark Lilla helps us to understand why"--

The Reckless Mind Intellectuals in Politics

The Reckless Mind  Intellectuals in Politics
Author: Mark Lilla
Pages: 248
ISBN: 9781681371177
Available:
Release: 2016-09-06
Editor: New York Review of Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

European history of the past century is full of examples of philosophers, writers, and scholars who supported or excused the worst tyrannies of the age. How was this possible? How could intellectuals whose work depends on freedom defend those who would deny it? In profiles of six leading twentieth-century thinkers—Martin Heidegger, Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, Alexandre Kojève, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida—Mark Lilla explores the psychology of political commitment. As continental Europe gave birth to two great ideological systems in the twentieth century, communism and fascism, it also gave birth to a new social type, the philotyrannical intellectual. Lilla shows how these thinkers were not only grappling with enduring philosophical questions, they were also writing out of their own experiences and passions. These profiles demonstrate how intellectuals can be driven into a political sphere they scarcely understand, with momentous results. In a new afterword, Lilla traces how the intellectual world has changed since the end of the cold war. The ideological passions of the past have been replaced in the West, he argues, by a dogma of individual autonomy and freedom that both obscures the historical forces at work in the present and sanctions ignorance about them, leaving us ill-equipped to understand those who are inflamed by the new global ideologies of our time.

The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books

The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books
Author: Edward Wilson-Lee
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781982111403
Available:
Release: 2020-03-10
Editor: Scribner
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This impeccably researched and “adventure-packed” (The Washington Post) account of the obsessive quest by Christopher Columbus’s son to create the greatest library in the world is “the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters” (NPR) and offers a vivid picture of Europe on the verge of becoming modern. At the peak of the Age of Exploration, Hernando Colón sailed with his father Christopher Columbus on his final voyage to the New World, a journey that ended in disaster, bloody mutiny, and shipwreck. After Columbus’s death in 1506, eighteen-year-old Hernando sought to continue—and surpass—his father’s campaign to explore the boundaries of the known world by building a library that would collect everything ever printed: a vast holding organized by summaries and catalogues; really, the first ever database for the exploding diversity of written matter as the printing press proliferated across Europe. Hernando traveled extensively and obsessively amassed his collection based on the groundbreaking conviction that a library of universal knowledge should include “all books, in all languages and on all subjects,” even material often dismissed: ballads, erotica, news pamphlets, almanacs, popular images, romances, fables. The loss of part of his collection to another maritime disaster in 1522, set off the final scramble to complete this sublime project, a race against time to realize a vision of near-impossible perfection. “Magnificent…a thrill on almost every page” (The New York Times Book Review), The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books is a window into sixteenth-century Europe’s information revolution, and a reflection of the passion and intrigues that lie beneath our own insatiable desires to bring order to the world today.

The Once and Future Liberal

The Once and Future Liberal
Author: Mark Lilla
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781849049955
Available:
Release: 2018-04-19
Editor: Oxford University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

For nearly 40 years, Ronald Reagan's vision--small government, lower taxes, and self-reliant individualism--has remained America's dominant political ideology. The Democratic Party has offered no truly convincing competing vision. Instead, American liberalism has fallen under the spell of identity politics.Mark Lilla argues with acerbic wit that liberals, originally driven by a sincere desire to protect the most vulnerable Americans, have now unwittingly invested their energies in social movements rather than winning elections. This abandonment of political priorities has had dire consequences. But, with the Republican Party led by an unpredictable demagogue and in ideological disarray, Lilla believes liberals now have an opportunity to turn from the divisive politics of identity, and offer positive ideas for a shared future. A fiercely-argued, no-nonsense book, The Once and Future Liberal is essential reading for our momentous times.

The Once and Future Liberal

The Once and Future Liberal
Author: Lilla
Pages: 329
ISBN: 9781787380677
Available:
Release: 2018-04-19
Editor: Oxford University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

For nearly forty years, Ronald Reagan’s vision—small government, lower taxes, and self-reliant individualism—has remained America’s dominant political ideology. The Democratic Party has offered no truly convincing competing vision. Instead, American liberalism has fallen under the spell of identity politics. Mark Lilla argues with acerbic wit that liberals, originally driven by a sincere desire to protect the most vulnerable Americans, have now unwittingly invested their energies in social movements rather than winning elections. This abandonment of political priorities has had dire consequences. But, with the Republican Party led by an unpredictable demagogue and in ideological disarray, Lilla believes liberals now have an opportunity to turn from the divisive politics of identity, and offer positive ideas for a shared future. A fiercely-argued, no-nonsense book, The Once and Future Liberal is essential reading for our momentous times.

Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man

Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man
Author: Thomas Mann
Pages: 592
ISBN: 9781681375328
Available:
Release: 2021-05-18
Editor: New York Review of Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A classic, controversial book exploring German culture and identity by the author of Death in Venice and The Magic Mountain, now back in print. When the Great War broke out in August 1914, Thomas Mann, like so many people on both sides of the conflict, was exhilarated. Finally, the era of decadence that he had anatomized in Death in Venice had come to an end; finally, there was a cause worth fighting and even dying for, or, at least when it came to Mann himself, writing about. Mann immediately picked up his pen to compose a paean to the German cause. Soon after, his elder brother and lifelong rival, the novelist Heinrich Mann, responded with a no less determined denunciation. Thomas took it as an unforgivable stab in the back. The bitter dispute between the brothers would swell into the strange, tortured, brilliant, sometimes perverse literary performance that is Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man, a book that Mann worked on and added to throughout the war and that bears an intimate relation to his postwar masterpiece The Magic Mountain. Wild and ungainly though Mann’s reflections can be, they nonetheless constitute, as Mark Lilla demonstrates in a new introduction, a key meditation on the freedom of the artist and the distance between literature and politics. The NYRB Classics edition includes two additional essays by Mann: “Thoughts in Wartime” (1914), translated by Mark Lilla and Cosima Mattner; and “On the German Republic” (1922), translated by Lawrence Rainey.

The Stillborn God

The Stillborn God
Author: Mark Lilla
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780307472717
Available:
Release: 2008-09-23
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A brilliant account of religion's role in the political thinking of the West, from the Enlightenment to the close of World War II.The wish to bring political life under God's authority is nothing new, and it's clear that today religious passions are again driving world politics, confounding expectations of a secular future. In this major book, Mark Lilla reveals the sources of this age-old quest-and its surprising role in shaping Western thought. Making us look deeper into our beliefs about religion, politics, and the fate of civilizations, Lilla reminds us of the modern West's unique trajectory and how to remain on it. Illuminating and challenging, The Stillborn God is a watershed in the history of ideas.

Humankind

Humankind
Author: Rutger Bregman
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780316418553
Available:
Release: 2020-06-02
Editor: Little, Brown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From New York Times bestselling author of Utopia for Realists comes a "bold" (Daniel H. Pink) and "extraordinary" (Susan Cain) argument that humans thrive in a crisis and that our innate kindness and cooperation have been the greatest factors in our long-term success on the planet. If there is one belief that has united the left and the right, psychologists and philosophers, ancient thinkers and modern ones, it is the tacit assumption that humans are bad. It's a notion that drives newspaper headlines and guides the laws that shape our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we're taught, are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest. But what if it isn't true? International bestseller Rutger Bregman provides new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history, setting out to prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another. In fact this instinct has a firm evolutionary basis going back to the beginning of Homo sapiens. From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the solidarity in the aftermath of the Blitz, the hidden flaws in the Stanford prison experiment to the true story of twin brothers on opposite sides who helped Mandela end apartheid, Bregman shows us that believing in human generosity and collaboration isn't merely optimistic—it's realistic. Moreover, it has huge implications for how society functions. When we think the worst of people, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics. But if we believe in the reality of humanity's kindness and altruism, it will form the foundation for achieving true change in society, a case that Bregman makes convincingly with his signature wit, refreshing frankness, and memorable storytelling. Instant New York Times Bestseller. "The Sapiens of 2020." —The Guardian "Humankind made me see humanity from a fresh perspective." —Yuval Noah Harari, author of the #1 bestseller Sapiens Longlisted for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction One of the Washington Post's 50 Notable Nonfiction Works in 2020

The Reactionary Mind

The Reactionary Mind
Author: Corey Robin
Pages: 330
ISBN: 9780190842024
Available:
Release: 2018
Editor: Oxford University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Late in life, William F. Buckley made a confession to Corey Robin. Capitalism is "boring," said the founding father of the American right. "Devoting your life to it," as conservatives do, "is horrifying if only because it's so repetitious. It's like sex." With this unlikely conversation began Robin's decade-long foray into the conservative mind. What is conservatism, and what's truly at stake for its proponents? If capitalism bores them, what excites them? In The Reactionary Mind, Robin traces conservatism back to its roots in the reaction against the French Revolution. He argues that the right was inspired, and is still united, by its hostility to emancipating the lower orders. Some conservatives endorse the free market; others oppose it. Some criticize the state; others celebrate it. Underlying these differences is the impulse to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality -- while simultaneously making populist appeals to the masses. Despite their opposition to these movements, conservatives favor a dynamic conception of politics and society -- one that involves self-transformation, violence, and war. They are also highly adaptive to new challenges and circumstances. This partiality to violence and capacity for reinvention have been critical to their success. Written by a highly-regarded, keen observer of the contemporary political scene, The Reactionary Mind ranges widely, from Edmund Burke to Antonin Scalia and Donald Trump, and from John C. Calhoun to Ayn Rand. It advances the notion that all right-wing ideologies, from the eighteenth century through today, are improvisations on a theme: the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back. When its first edition appeared in 2011, The Reactionary Mind set off a fierce debate. It has since been acclaimed as "the book that predicted Trump" (New Yorker) and "one of the more influential political works of the last decade" (Washington Monthly). Now updated to include Trump's election and his first one hundred days in office, The Reactionary Mind is more relevant than ever.

Icebound

Icebound
Author: Andrea Pitzer
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781982113360
Available:
Release: 2021-01-12
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In the bestselling tradition of Hampton Sides’s In the Kingdom of Ice, a riveting and cinematic tale of Dutch polar explorer William Barents and his three harrowing Arctic expeditions—the last of which resulted in a relentlessly challenging year-long fight for survival. The human story has always been one of perseverance—often against remarkable odds. The most astonishing survival tale of all might be that of 16th-century Dutch explorer William Barents and his crew of sixteen, who ventured farther north than any Europeans before and, on their third polar exploration, lost their ship off the frozen coast of Nova Zembla to unforgiving ice. The men would spend the next year fighting off ravenous polar bears, gnawing hunger, and endless winter. In Icebound, Andrea Pitzer masterfully combines a gripping tale of survival with a sweeping history of the great Age of Exploration—a time of hope, adventure, and seemingly unlimited geographic frontiers. At the story’s center is William Barents, one of the 16th century’s greatest navigators whose larger-than-life ambitions and obsessive quest to chart a path through the deepest, most remote regions of the Arctic ended in both tragedy and glory. Journalist Pitzer did extensive research, learning how to use four-hundred-year-old navigation equipment, setting out on three Arctic expeditions to retrace Barents’s steps, and visiting replicas of Barents’s ship and cabin. “A visceral, thrilling account full of tantalizing surprises” (Andrea Barrett, author of The Voyage of the Narwhal ), Pitzer’s reenactment of Barents’s ill-fated journey shows us how the human body can function at twenty degrees below, the history of mutiny, the art of celestial navigation, and the intricacies of building shelters. But above all, it gives us a first-hand glimpse into the true nature of human courage.

How to Survive a Shipwreck

How to Survive a Shipwreck
Author: Jonathan Martin
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9780310347989
Available:
Release: 2016-06-07
Editor: Zondervan
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Life is turbulent. On that, we can all agree. Disappointed dreams, broken relationships, identity crises, vocational hang-ups, wounds from the past—there are so many ways life can send us crashing up against the rocks. In this deeply personal book, Jonathan Martin draws from his own stories of failure and loss to find the love that can only be discovered on the bottom. How to Survive a Shipwreck is an invitation to trust the goodness of God and the resilience of your soul. Jonathan’s clarion call is this: No matter how hard you’ve fallen, no matter how much you’ve been hurt, help is on the way—just when you need it most. With visionary artistry and pastoral wisdom, Jonathan Martin reveals what we’ll need to make it through those uncharted waters, how we can use these defining experiences to live out of our depths, and why it will then become impossible to go back to the half-life we once lived.

Mind Works

Mind Works
Author: Antonino Ferro
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781317723974
Available:
Release: 2014-05-12
Editor: Routledge
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Is the analyst's mind a factor in the analytic process? In Mind Works Antonino Ferro uses clinical material such as detailed reports of sessions, together with client's analytic histories, to develop Bion’s original findings and illustrate complex concepts in the field of psychoanalytic technique. These concepts include: interpretive modalities the end of analysis psychosomatic pathologies narcissism. Mind Works: Technique and Creativity in Psychoanalysis also suggests that dreaming is a fundamental moment in analytic work, and Ferro discusses how dreams can go beyond the present to become a continuous act of the mind in the waking state, allowing internal and external stimuli to be transformed into thoughts and emotions. Focusing on how the minds of the analyst and the analysand work in psychoanalysis, this book will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists and will be helpful in psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic work on a day-to-day basis.

G B Vico

G B  Vico
Author: Mark Lilla,Philip Fisher
Pages: 255
ISBN: UOM:39015050037962
Available:
Release: 1993
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Italian scholar Giovanni Battista Vico is widely viewed as the first modern philosopher of history, a judgment largely based on his obscure 1744 masterpiece, New Science. In this new study Mark Lilla complicates this picture by presenting Vico as one of the most troubling of anti-modern thinkers. By combing Vico's neglected early writings on metaphysics and jurisprudence, Lilla reveals the philosopher's deep reservations about the modern outlook and shows how his science of history grew out of these very doubts. In works such as the untranslated Universal Right (1720-1722), a treatise on natural law, Vico emerges as a profoundly political and theological thinker who contrasted the authoritative traditions of an idealized Rome against the corrupting skepticism endemic in modern life. Vico explicitly blamed this skepticism on the founders of modern philosophy, particularly Descartes. Placed in the context of his critique of skepticism, Vico's "new science" of history appears in a wholly new light. Though modern in form, it can be seen here for what it was: a pessimistic vindication of divine authority directed against the freedom and reason that characterize the modern age. This first truly comprehensive introduction to Vico ties his concerns for authority, politics, and civil religion to his theory of history. As such, it raises provocative questions about the subsequent intellectual development of the anti-modern tradition as it relates to the historical and social sciences of our time. It is a brilliant antidote to the "standard" reading of Vico and will transform studies of his work.

On the Abolition of All Political Parties

On the Abolition of All Political Parties
Author: Simone Weil
Pages: 96
ISBN: 9781590177907
Available:
Release: 2014-09-30
Editor: New York Review of Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An NYRB Classics Original Simone Weil—philosopher, activist, mystic—is one of the most uncompromising of modern spiritual masters. In “On the Abolition of All Political Parties” she challenges the foundation of the modern liberal political order, making an argument that has particular resonance today, when the apathy and anger of the people and the self-serving partisanship of the political class present a threat to democracies all over the world. Dissecting the dynamic of power and propaganda caused by party spirit, the increasing disregard for truth in favor of opinion, and the consequent corruption of education, journalism, and art, Weil forcefully makes the case that a true politics can only begin where party spirit ends. This volume also includes an admiring portrait of Weil by the great poet Czeslaw Milosz and an essay about Weil’s friendship with Albert Camus by the translator Simon Leys.

Suicide of the West

Suicide of the West
Author: Jonah Goldberg
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9781101904947
Available:
Release: 2018-04-24
Editor: Crown Forum
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An urgent argument that America and other democracies are in peril because they have lost the will to defend the values and institutions that sustain freedom and prosperity. “Epic and debate-shifting.”—David Brooks, New York Times Only once in the last 250,000 years have humans stumbled upon a way to lift ourselves out of the endless cycle of poverty, hunger, and war that defines most of history. If democracy, individualism, and the free market were humankind’s destiny, they should have appeared and taken hold a bit earlier in the evolutionary record. The emergence of freedom and prosperity was nothing short of a miracle. As Americans we are doubly blessed, because the radical ideas that made the miracle possible were written not just into the Constitution but in our hearts, laying the groundwork for our uniquely prosperous society. Those ideas are: • Our rights come from God, not from the government. • The government belongs to us; we do not belong to it. • The individual is sovereign. We are all captains of our own souls, not bound by the circumstances of our birth. • The fruits of our labors belong to us. In the last few decades, these political virtues have been turned into vices. As we are increasingly taught to view our traditions as a system of oppression, exploitation, and privilege, the principles of liberty and the rule of law are under attack from left and right. For the West to survive, we must renew our sense of gratitude for what our civilization has given us and rediscover the ideals and habits of the heart that led us out of the bloody muck of the past—or back to the muck we will go.

Montaigne

Montaigne
Author: Philippe Desan
Pages: 832
ISBN: 9780691183008
Available:
Release: 2019-01-29
Editor: Princeton University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

One of the most important writers and thinkers of the Renaissance, Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) helped invent a literary genre that seemed more modern than anything that had come before. But did he do it, as he suggests in his Essays, by retreating to his chateau and stoically detaching himself from his violent times? Philippe Desan overturns this long standing myth by showing that Montaigne was constantly connected to and concerned with realizing his political ambitions—and that the literary and philosophical character of the Essays largely depends on them. Desan shows how Montaigne conceived of each edition of the Essays as an indispensable prerequisite to the next stage of his public career. It was only after his political failure that Montaigne took refuge in literature, and even then it was his political experience that enabled him to find the right tone for his genre. The most comprehensive and authoritative biography of Montaigne yet written, this sweeping narrative offers a fascinating new picture of his life and work.

Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor

Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor
Author: Gabriel García Márquez
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781101911099
Available:
Release: 2014-10-15
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN eBOOK! In 1955, Garcia Marquez was working for El Espectador, a newspaper in Bogota, when in February of that year eight crew members of the Caldas, a Colombian destroyer, were washed overboard and disappeared. Ten days later one of them turned up, barely alive, on a deserted beach in northern Colombia. This book, which originally appeared as a series of newspaper articles, is Garcia Marquez's account of that sailor's ordeal. Translated by Randolf Hogan.

Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God

Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God
Author: Joe Coomer
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780684824406
Available:
Release: 1997-05-07
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Three women set out on an open-sea voyage to Prince Edward Island in an attempt to escape the unpleasant circumstances of their lives

The Decadent Society

The Decadent Society
Author: Ross Douthat
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781476785240
Available:
Release: 2020-02-25
Editor: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the New York Times columnist and bestselling author of Bad Religion, a powerful portrait of how our turbulent age is defined by dark forces seemingly beyond our control Today the Western world seems to be in crisis. But beneath our social media frenzy and reality television politics, the deeper reality is one of drift, repetition, and dead ends. The Decadent Society explains what happens when a rich and powerful society ceases advancing—how the combination of wealth and technological proficiency with economic stagnation, political stalemates, cultural exhaustion, and demographic decline creates a strange kind of “sustainable decadence,” a civilizational languor that could endure for longer than we think. Ranging from our grounded space shuttles to our Silicon Valley villains, from our blandly recycled film and television—a new Star Wars saga, another Star Trek series, the fifth Terminator sequel—to the escapism we’re furiously chasing through drug use and virtual reality, Ross Douthat argues that many of today’s discontents and derangements reflect a sense of futility and disappointment—a feeling that the future was not what was promised, that the frontiers have all been closed, and that the paths forward lead only to the grave. In this environment we fear catastrophe, but in a certain way we also pine for it—because the alternative is to accept that we are permanently decadent: aging, comfortable and stuck, cut off from the past and no longer confident in the future, spurning both memory and ambition while we wait for some saving innovation or revelations, growing old unhappily together in the glowing light of tiny screens. Correcting both optimists who insist that we’re just growing richer and happier with every passing year and pessimists who expect collapse any moment, Douthat provides an enlightening diagnosis of the modern condition—how we got here, how long our age of frustration might last, and how, whether in renaissance or catastrophe, our decadence might ultimately end.