Catalogue


Discontents : postmodern and postcommunist /
Paul Hollander.
imprint
New Brunswick, NJ : Transaction Publishers, c2002.
description
xlviii, 430 p. ill. 24 cm.
ISBN
076580090X (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New Brunswick, NJ : Transaction Publishers, c2002.
isbn
076580090X (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4591969
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Paul Hollander is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Massachusetts. Amherst, and a fellow of the David Center for Russian Studies at Harvard University.
Reviews
Review Quotes
" Discontents is a kind of omnibus; it is almost one-stop shopping for the understanding of our current afflictions. I expect to return to it repeatedly, for remembering arguments, for recharging batteries. Hollander has cut to the core of things. One gets the sense that, when it comes to these "discontents," this is not only the world according to Paul Hollander, but the world as it is." -- National Review " Discontents is a fascinating, erudite, and good-natured book, a book for our time."- The New Criterion
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, May 2002
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
What ails people at the present time in Western and especially American society is an inexhaustible subject. Discussion of these discontents in the United States in the last decade of the twentieth century leads to an obvious question: How much and what kind of discontents are possible in a society that has experienced over a decade of economic growth, close to full employment, hardly any inflation, falling crime rates, declining teenage pregnancies, and other good things? Is there anything to worry about in a country that has become the undisputed superpower of the world and no longer faces another hostile superpower such as the Soviet Union used to be? Paul Hollander wrestles with these and other questions in seeking to understand conditions and developments within American culture and society in the context of their relationship to political systems, movements and ideas critical of the United States and Western values. Hollander examines disparate phenomena, such as the O.J. Simpson case, the banning of West Side Story in Amherst, Massachusetts, the popularity and exposÚ of Rigoberta Menchu, and the appeal of sports utility vehicles, which shed light on the major themes of the volume. Topics include conflicts among American intellectuals (including disputes over the Kosovo intervention), the impact of postmodernism on higher education, the persisting appeal of victimhood in American society, the flaws of American sociology, academic specialists'failure to anticipate the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the new anti-Americanism in postcommunist societies. Among topics of historical interest are a survey of Western judgments and misjudgments of the communist systems; examination of the relative neglect of political violence in communist states, and analysis of officially enforced, secular-religious cult of communist rulers. Many of these writings are linked to the author's longstanding interest in why people accept or reject particular political systems and in the contradictory human needs and desires which condition and limit the pursuit of social and political ends. Sociologists, political scientists, and the general reader will find this book of great interest. Paul Hollander is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a fellow of the David Center for Russian Studies at Harvard University. His books include Soviet and American Society, Political Pilgrims, The Survival of the Adversary Culture , and Anti-Americanism .
Main Description
What ails people at the present time in Western and especially American society is an inexhaustible subject. Discussion of these discontents in the United States in the last decade of the twentieth century leads to an obvious question: How much and what kind of discontents are possible in a society that has experienced over a decade of economic growth, close to full employment, hardly any inflation, falling crime rates, declining teenage pregnancies, and other good things? Is there anything to worry about in a country that has become the undisputed superpower of the world and no longer faces another hostile superpower such as the Soviet Union used to be? Paul Hollander wrestles with these and other questions in seeking to understand conditions and developments within American culture and society in the context of their relationship to political systems, movements and ideas critical of the United States and Western values.Hollander examines disparate phenomena, such as the O.J. Simpson case, the banning of West Side Story in Amherst, Massachusetts, the popularity and expose of Rigoberta Menchu, and the appeal of sports utility vehicles, which shed light on the major themes of the volume. Topics include conflicts among American intellectuals (including disputes over the Kosovo intervention), the impact of postmodernism on higher education, the persisting appeal of victimhood in American society, the flaws of American sociology, academic specialists' failure to anticipate the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the new anti-Americanism in postcommunist societies. Among topics of historical interest are a survey of Western judgments and misjudgments of the communist systems; examination ofthe relative neglect of political violence in communist states, and analysis of officially enforced, secular-religious cult of communist rulers.Many of these writings are linked to the author's longstanding interest in w
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. ix
American Society and the Discontents of Postmodernity
Godfather II: The New American Tragedyp. 3
American Sociology and the Collapse of Communismp. 9
"Imagined Tyranny"? Political Correctness Reconsideredp. 23
The Attack on Science and Reasonp. 49
Good Intentions and Unintended Consequences: A Critique of "Affirmative Action"p. 57
Reassessing the Adversary Culturep. 75
The Durable Significance of the Political Pilgrimagesp. 91
Nonconformist Intellectuals Todayp. 113
The Pursuit of Identity, Community and Social Justice: The Cult of Victimhood Revisitedp. 131
Saving Sociology?p. 145
Marxism and Western Intellectuals in the Postcommunist Erap. 167
Intellectuals and the War in Kosovop. 181
Acknowledgements: Appearance and Reality in a Ritual of Academic Lifep. 195
Soviet Communism: Its Fall and Aftermath
The Mystery of the Transformation of Communist Systemsp. 215
Why Communism Collapsed in Eastern Europep. 235
Moral Responses to the Great Mass Murders of Our Centuryp. 251
Digesting the Collapse of Communism: Responses of Western Intellectualsp. 271
Revisiting the "The Banality of Evil": Political Violence in Communist Systemsp. 285
Growing Up in Communist Hungaryp. 299
Thoughts on Travel in Russiap. 313
Western Views on Communism: Judgments and Misjudgmentsp. 329
Westernization and Anti-Americanism in Post-Communist Societiesp. 361
The Cult of Personality in Communist Statesp. 377
The Crimes of Communismp. 391
Andre Gide and the Soviet Union: Infatuation and Disaffectionp. 401
Name Indexp. 419
Subject Indexp. 427
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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