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Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. Februar 2010

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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 between repentance, where one resolves to find absolution by doing better, and remorse, where one wallows in perpetual penitence, to create a synthesis of great explanatory power."--Nick Cohen, The Australian "As the Obama administration and congressional Democrats work to make the United States a more European-style society, The Tyranny of Guilt arrives at the right time (and kudos to Princeton University Press for publishing such a bracing, politically incorrect book). Pascal Bruckner, who remains a man of the left in some sense, recognizes the true genius of the West--and the capacity of its brightest minds to forget that genius or, worse, condemn it."--Brian Anderson, New Criterion "[Bruckner's] basic thesis is that the entire western world is addicted to wallowing in guilt about the past, and that the root of it all is roughly religious--stemming from the notion of original sin. Bruckner's most vivid illustration of our addiction to guilt is that so many thinkers and commentators could greet the murder of 3,000 people on September 11, 2001, with cries of 'we had it coming.'"--Irish Independent "Bruckner, a French intellectual, argues brilliantly if controversially it's high time the West lighten up, bring historical perspective to itself, celebrate its more prosperous institutions, and stop hamstringing its relations with other groups."--Miriam Cosic, Australian "It's no put-down of Pascal Bruckner's latest book to say I enjoyed it in the same way I enjoyed the Daily Express, although his canvas is bigger and his style more literary and erudite... In this work, [Bruckner] has many shrewd insights into contemporary Europe."--Tara McCormack, Spiked "Pascal Bruckner has written a passionate meditation that many, especially on the Left, will find provocative. One might even hope that this little book will awaken European thinkers from their dogmatic slumber and lead them to consider the advantages and disadvantages of history for European civic life."--Daniel DiSalvo, Society

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

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).

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57 von 58 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
What's the Matter with the Elites? 20. Mai 2010
Von Eric Mayforth - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
"The whole world hates us, and we deserve it: that is what most Europeans think, at least in Western Europe". That quote is the thesis of this book by French thinker Pascal Bruckner that examines anti-Western guilt and neurosis in Europe (and, to a lesser extent, America) today.

Elites on both sides of the Atlantic are animated by hatred of the West and denounce it vehemently in an attempt to make the West feel eternally guilty for its past wrongs, and think that anyone who stands up for Western Europe or nations such as Israel or the United States is beyond the pale of respectability.

Bruckner sees in this attitude an inverted superiority complex, a sort of "You don't realize how evil Europe, America, and Western Civilization are and I do, therefore I'm more moral and enlightened than you are" type of preening narcissistic grandstanding.

The author acknowledges the West's crimes, but states that Europe, unlike Islam, is "like a jailer who throws you into prison and slips you the keys to your cell", bringing the world both despotism and liberty. For example, the West did not invent slavery, but played a major role in its abolition. Bruckner states that no country was not founded on crime and coercion, but only the West's crimes are remembered by the elites, who have one set of rules for designated victim nations and another, more stringent set for designated oppressor nations.

Bruckner thinks that Europe's guilty conscience stems from a desire to withdraw after the horrors of the twentieth century. Europe, he believes, does not feel that it any longer has the moral authority to stand up to evil, so instead it tolerates the evil around it, leading it to "take up residence in a peaceful hell".

The author provides suggestions for Europe to get out of its funk, such as having a statute of limitations for past offenses that have been repented of--being forever chained to the past injects emotional paralysis and does not free one to live in the present.

Bruckner examines European anti-Semitism, and closes this remarkable volume by comparing France to the United States, showing that America does not have the anti-West mindset to the same degree that Europe does.
17 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Another Reason to Appreciate the French 22. März 2011
Von Federal Farmer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Bruckner analyzes the source of Western civilization's current suicidal tendencies and finds them largely in the colonial experience. He owes up to the mistakes and crimes that the countries of Western Europe (and America) have made, but points out that the West not only stops its bad behavior, such as slavery, communism, colonialism, and fascism, but also creates a dominant discourse that prevents backsliding. What other civilization has that track record, to paraphrase Bruckner. Western guilt is designed to prevent another holocaust or abuse of third world countries, but it goes too far, failing to protect and celebrate the good that the West has produced. He is observant and complementary about the United States without gushing. He also notes that the current conflict between the West and the rest ultimately lay in the realm of ideas. Bruckner's writing is among the best I've ever encountered, and in some ways it is the best book I have ever read. His statements, quotes and expressions are not only brilliant and insightful, but are also expressed more artfully than you will see, well, anywhere else. You will underline half of some pages, the quotes are so spot on. He simply has a greater grasp of language than most authors of any stripe.
Highest recommendation.
19 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great Book 9. August 2010
Von Zophorian - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
This is just the kind of book I like to read coming out of Europe. It is critical of the Intellectual Class of the continent and critical of America as well. Both the US and the EU need to work together in the world today and that means compromise. The US needs to cool its heals but keep its conviction and passion. Europe needs to stop sulking and second guessing and do something. Bruckner says as much in this book.

It is a fairly easy read not requiring the reader to have a background in philosophy or theory to follow his message. It is a bit Franco-centric but he is French and his original audience was the French, so that is easily excusable-- and if you can't stand that you can just skip one of those middle chapters and not miss too much.

Though I don't agree with him completely, I agree more often than I don't. I also am quite fond of some of the intellectuals that he criticizes-- especially Derrida--, but I have always seemed to like their theory and philosophy much more than their politics. Their politics seem to be a bit detached from reality and idealistic (or, if you want to be unflattering about it: wimpy and indecisive when it comes to actual actions and specific circumstances) and this is what Bruckner points out.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Needs to be said 28. Dezember 2010
Von Mark S - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Europe is wallowing in a malaise of self-pity. Hoping to be left alone, to live out its last days as a "living museum", it admits to all of its faults and neglects its history of worthwhile leadership and universal genius. This is where Europe stands - especially France.

Admittedly it has been responsible for significant suffering and bloodshed, but it has also sought and found solutions - human rights, genuine self-appraisal, respect for worthwhile principles. So Bruckner asks: How can the Islamic world, Africa, Latin America and Russia lambaste Europe when they have done so little and Europe so much to arrive at these solutions? Why should Europe alone take responsibility for human darkness when it is present in and indulged by all human societies?

Bruckner writes with a vivacity that belies his subject. And therein lies the hope: "we have to change ourselves, undertake a complete reversal of values" (p. 216). By joining with America, the virtues of Europe and America can be combined to offer leadership and overcome their respective weaknesses - exuberance and sensibility, passion and reason, confidence and self-criticism - in order to "bring together the two confused halves of the West" (p.217).
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
a heavyweight education for our nihilistic times. 10. Februar 2011
Von Halifax Student Account - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
It's a sad indictment of our intellectual climate that not many have bothered to review this philosophical masterpiece. I use the word philosophy is its original Nietzschean sense of smashing idols. Don't be put off by the bloke being French though, because Pascal Bruckner is not a typical pampered cafe professor; he is a real intellectual, he's smart and he can write. Bruckner made his name with his novel writings and so he has gained the freedom to write the truth. Most academics self sensor themselves, or they feed off the troth of government funding or research grants, and so this is why the academy is mostly silent of these issues and this is a good reason as any to read The Tyranny of Guilt.

The Tyranny of Guilt is a master class in how to demolish the cult of our narcissistic pleasuring ourselves with guilt tendencies and how to take the air out of politically correct winbaggery. Pascal is especially good at pointing out that today's white intellectuals masochistic arguments that the West's slow retreating roar, up its own cowardly backside, is not a good thing. Islam is the big boo hoo in the book and even though books on (evil) Islam are becoming a cottage industry, the clear thinkers are actually correct on this one. It's only the bribed (my conspiracy theory) and the comfortable white intellectuals who refuse to see the contradictions in, to use Christopher Hitchens term, "one way multiculturalism".

What these critics are saying, if anything, is that the writers on this area are obviously not horrid racist types because 1; Islam is not a race or an ethnicity, nor is it a religion, but rather, Islam is an ideology that excretes idiocy everywhere is goes, like an angry toilet, to become the basis of a vicious personality cult and 2; Hindus and Sikhs and basically most brown people who are not Muslim, write the best critiques of the life denying nihilism that troubles the cowardly (or bribed maybe?) West.

This is an admirable translation too.
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