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Morris Berman is renowned in the USA as an innovative cultural historian and social critic. He has taught at a number of universities in North America and Europe, and has lectured internationally on the themes of personal and cultural change. He now teaches part-time in the Master of Liberal Arts Programme at John Hopkins University, Baltimore. He is a keynote conference speaking on various aspects of the Liberal Arts as well as a frequent contributor to magazines, academic journals and radio programmes. His works have been translated into five languages and include forty articles and four acclaimed books: The Reenchantment of the World; Coming to our Senses; Wandering God; A Study in Nomadic Spirituality and Social Change and Scientific Organisation .
Twilight of American Culture
Morris Berman's caustic analysis of the current state of American culture makes compelling reading for the English-speaking world. Berman's lively description of the degraded state of American culture makes for a chilling often darkly funny read, but he is ultimately an optimist, aspiring to the inclusive maxim of French post-structuralist thinker Jean-Francois Lyotard: 'elitism for everybody'.
Morris Berman argues proactively and engagingly that, like ancient Rome in the fourth and fifth centuries, the American Empire has now seen the passage of its most triumphant years and is rapidly approaching a period of social chaos. Illustrating his argument with references to the works of writers as diverse as Don DeLillo, Ray Bradbury, Garrison Keillor and Alex de Tocqueville, The Twilight American Culture paints one of the most damning portraits of American society to date. In examining the corruption at the heart of modern politics, the 'Rambification' of popular entertainment and the collapse of the education system, Berman concludes that while there is little Americans can do as a society to arrest the onset of corporate culture ('McWorld'), individuals can still act to preserve cultural values, refusing to base their lives on kitsch or consumerism, profit or self-promotion.
With economic globalisation now dictating the future of Europe, Berman's recipe for arresting the attendant cultural decline must be heeded by anyone hoping to stay clear of the American twilight.