The Tyranny of Guilt (häftad)
Häftad (Paperback / softback)
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Princeton University Press
Steven Rendall
215 x 139 x 19 mm
299 g
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The Tyranny of Guilt (häftad)

The Tyranny of Guilt

An Essay on Western Masochism

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Häftad Engelska, 2012-04-01
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Fascism, communism, genocide, slavery, racism, imperialism--the West has no shortage of reasons for guilt. And, indeed, since the Holocaust and the end of World War II, Europeans in particular have been consumed by remorse. But Pascal Bruckner argues that guilt has now gone too far. It has become a pathology, and even an obstacle to fighting today's atrocities. Bruckner, one of France's leading writers and public intellectuals, argues that obsessive guilt has obscured important realities. The West has no monopoly on evil, and has destroyed monsters as well as created them--leading in the abolition of slavery, renouncing colonialism, building peaceful and prosperous communities, and establishing rules and institutions that are models for the world. The West should be proud--and ready to defend itself and its values. In this, Europeans should learn from Americans, who still have sufficient self-esteem to act decisively in a world of chaos and violence. Lamenting the vice of anti-Americanism that grips so many European intellectuals, Bruckner urges a renewed transatlantic alliance, and advises Americans not to let recent foreign-policy misadventures sap their own confidence. This is a searing, provocative, and psychologically penetrating account of the crude thought and bad politics that arise from excessive bad conscience.
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"The Tyranny of Guilt is one of the landmark books of our time. With humour, depth, breadth, restraint and great insight Bruckner diagnoses an infuriating era... Pascal Bruckner's short book is one of the most vital published in recent years. If the civilisation which it explains survives then I suspect his book will have played as important a part as any piece of writing could in determining that outcome."--Douglas Murray, Literary Review "That Bruckner's talents defy classification might help to account for the relatively understated reception of his work on this side of the Atlantic. This situation is likely to change soon: along with The Tyranny of Guilt, Princeton University Press will also publish Perpetual Euphoria... Bruckner is a bold and eloquent and important thinker."--Richard Wolin, New Republic "[The Tyranny of Guilt] is a work of bracing lucidity and exhilarating perception... Europe needs to rethink its attitude towards its past if it is to build a more inclusive and dynamic future. As this exceptional book so emphatically shows, guilt is a luxury we can no longer afford."--Andrew Anthony, The Observer "When it comes to the sweaty metabolism of guilt, Bruckner is perhaps the most accomplished anatomist since Nietzsche. (He is also, like Nietzsche, an extraordinary stylist, commanding a sinewy, memorably epigrammatic prose.) ... Ferociously intelligent, passionately argued, stylistically brilliant."--Roger Kimball, National Review "As a result of his literary background and immersion in the fiery French essayist tradition, he writes in a sparkling prose, captured well here by his translator, Steven Rendall. The resulting tone is redolent for Anglo-Saxon readers of an earlier era, when social critics like Marx or Nietzsche conveyed their ideas with combative gravitas. Beneath Bruckner's eloquence is a serious message: we remain prisoners of a white guilt whose victim is its supposed beneficiary... [T]his is a stirring and important book."--Eric Kaufmann, Prospect "Mr. Bruckner cites literary figures, journalists and intellectuals throughout the Western world making the case that whatever punishment the West has been made to suffer--e.g., the horrors of 9/11--are merely well deserved."--Wall Street Journal "Bruckner's book is controversial at times, but he does a wonderful job of combining passionate writing with a well-argued critique of modern Europe."--Library Journal "[Pascal Bruckner's] angry book could change a whole civilization's opinion, if only that civilization had sense enough to pay attention."--Robert Fulford, National Post "In the end, Bruckner's real theme is something deeper and broader: Western guilt and the resulting lack of self-belief. Again, he sees the origins of this in a guilty conscience, and there is an echo here of debates sixty or more years ago over Communism."--Geoffrey Wheatcroft, National Interest "[M]agnificent."--Standpoint Magazine "These provocative statements undergird Bruckner's brilliant polemic arguing that European remorse for the sins of imperialism, fascism, and racism has gripped the continent to the point of stifling its creativity, destroying its self-confidence, and depleting its optimism."--Daniel Pipes, National Review Online "Bruckner shows how selective we are about teaching history and how our media is obsessed with only one struggle (Israel/Palestine) while ignoring others (Sudan/Darfur). The essay, translated into clear American English, is provocative, scholarly and accessible."--Julia Pascal, The Independent "In Pascal Bruckner's recent essay The Tyranny of Guilt, we finally get an argument that should move those ready away from the masochistic acceptance of blame for every bad thing in the world."--Stanley Crouch, Daily Beast "Bruckner's originality lies in taking the narcissism of Western guilt and using the old distinction

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Pascal Bruckner is the award-winning author of many books of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel Bitter Moon, which was made into a film by Roman Polanski. Bruckner's nonfiction books include Perpetual Euphoria and The Paradox of Love (both Princeton).


Introduction 1 Chapter One: Guilt Peddlers 5 The Irremediable and Despondency 6 The Ideology That Stammers 9 The Self-Flagellants of the Western World 13 A Thirst for Punishment 22 Chapter Two: The Pathologies of Debt 27 Placing the Enemy in One's Heart 28 The Vanities of Self-Hatred 33 One-Way Repentance 40 The False Quarrel over Islamophobia 47 Chapter Three: Innocence Recovered 57 How Central Is the Near East? 59 "Zionism, the Criminal DNA of Humanity" 62 Unmasking the Usurper 67 A Delicate Arbitrage 74 America Doubly Damned 80 Chapter Four: The Fanaticism of Modesty 87 A Tardy Conversion to Virtue 88 The Empire of Emptiness 90 The Pacification of the Past 93 The Guilty Imagination 96 Recovering Self-Esteem 100 The Twofold Lesson 106 Chapter Five: The Second Golgotha 111 Misinterpretations of Auschwitz 113 Hitlerizing History 117 The Twofold Colonial Nostalgia 127 Chapter Six: Listen to My Suffering 139 On Victimization as a Career 140 Protect Minorities or Emancipate the Individual? 148 What Duty of Memory? 157 Chapter Seven: Depression in Paradise: France, a Symptom and Caricature of Europe 167 A Universal Victim? 168 The Wild Ass's Skin 176 Who Are the Reactionaries? 179 The Triumph of Fear 183 Metamorphosis or Decline? 186 Chapter Eight: Doubt and Faith: The Quarrel between Europe and the United States 193 To Be or to Have 194 The Troublemakers in History 199 The Archaism of the Soldier 203 The Swaggering Colossus 207 Conclusion 215 Postscript to the English Translation 223 Index 229