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On looking into the Abyss : untimely thoughts on culture and society

Author: Gertrude Himmelfarb
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In these perceptive essays, the highly regarded historian Gertrude Himmelfarb critically examines the cultural and ideological fashions of contemporary America. She analyzes the intellectual arrogance and spiritual impoverishment at the heart of such current academic movements in history, literature, and philosophy as structuralism, deconstructionism, and postmodernism - and shows how they have led to the belittling  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Aufsatzsammlung
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Himmelfarb, Gertrude.
On looking into the Abyss.
New York : Knopf, 1994
(OCoLC)606522925
Online version:
Himmelfarb, Gertrude.
On looking into the Abyss.
New York : Knopf, 1994
(OCoLC)621965615
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Gertrude Himmelfarb
ISBN: 0679428267 9780679428268 0679759239 9780679759232
OCLC Number: 28213630
Description: xvi, 192 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: On looking into the abyss --
Of heros, villans, and valets --
From Marx to Hegel --
Liberty : "one very simple principle"? --
The dark and the bloody crossroads where nationalism and religion meet --
Where have all the footnotes gone? --
Postmodernist history.
Responsibility: Gertrude Himmelfarb.

Abstract:

In these perceptive essays, the highly regarded historian Gertrude Himmelfarb critically examines the cultural and ideological fashions of contemporary America. She analyzes the intellectual arrogance and spiritual impoverishment at the heart of such current academic movements in history, literature, and philosophy as structuralism, deconstructionism, and postmodernism - and shows how they have led to the belittling of one of the great tragedies of all time, the Holocaust. And she demonstrates the intimate, pervasive relationship between what is taught in our universities and what happens in society. She describes how the very idea of the "abyss" is made trivial and banal; how the role of the hero in history is being usurped by the writer of history; how with the end of the Cold War the greatest threat to liberalism is liberalism itself, how the link between nationalism and religion has been dangerously ignored; and how the relativization of history leads to its de-moralization and de-humanization. Provocative and incisive, Gertrude Himmelfarb's writings force us to examine our ideas about the troubling issues that concern our society and culture today.

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