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    The City of Man (New French Thought) (Paperback) By (author) Pierre Manent, Foreword by Jean Bethke Elshtain, Translated by Marc A. LePain

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    DescriptionThe 'City of God' or the 'City of Man'? This is the choice St. Augustine offered 1500 years ago - and according to Pierre Manent the modern West has decisively and irreversibly chosen the latter. In this subtle and wide-ranging book on the Western intellectual and political condition, Manent argues that the West has rejected the laws of God and of nature in a quest for human autonomy. But in declaring ourselves free and autonomous, he contends, we have, paradoxically, lost a sense of what it means to be human. In the first part of the book, Manent explores the development of the social sciences since the seventeenth century, portraying their growth as a sign of increasing human 'self-consciousness'.But as social scientists have sought to free us from the intellectual confines of the ancient world, he writes, they have embraced modes of analysis - economic, sociological, and historical - that treat only narrow aspects of the human condition and portray individuals as helpless victims of impersonal forces. As a result, we have lost all sense of human agency and of the unified human subject at the center of intellectual study. Politics and culture have come to be seen as mere foam on the tides of historical and social necessity. In the second half of the book, titled 'Self-Affirmation', Manent examines how the West, having discovered freedom, then discovered arbitrary will and its dangers. With no shared touchstones or conceptions of virtue, for example, we have found it increasingly hard to communicate with each other.This is a striking contrast to the past, he writes, when even traditions as different as the Classical and the Christian held many of these conceptions in common. The result of these discoveries, according to Manent, is the disturbing rootlessness that characterizes our time. By gaining autonomy from external authority, we have lost a sense of what we are. In 'giving birth' to ourselves, we have abandoned that which alone can nurture and sustain us. With penetrating insight and remarkable erudition, Manent offers a profound analysis of the confusions and contradictions at the heart of the modern condition.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The City of Man

    Title
    The City of Man
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Pierre Manent, Foreword by Jean Bethke Elshtain, Translated by Marc A. LePain
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 240
    Width: 152 mm
    Height: 229 mm
    Thickness: 16 mm
    Weight: 342 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780691050256
    ISBN 10: 0691050252
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: PHI
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S2.1
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: HRC
    Ingram Spring Arbor Market: Y
    LC subject heading:
    BIC subject category V2: HPCF
    LC subject heading: ,
    BISAC V2.8: PHI019000
    BIC subject category V2: HPS
    Ingram Theme: THEO/ACADEM
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 17400
    BIC subject category V2: JHBA
    B&T General Subject: 610
    Ingram Subject Code: PH
    Libri: I-PH
    DC21: 300.1
    BISAC V2.8: PHI009000
    DC22: 128
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    ECPA Christian Book Category: GNRGSEPHY
    BISAC V2.8: HIS039000
    Thema V1.0: QDHR, QRM, QDTS, JHBA
    Publisher
    Princeton University Press
    Imprint name
    Princeton University Press
    Publication date
    07 May 2000
    Publication City/Country
    New Jersey
    Review quote
    "[Manent's] book is probably the most relentless assault on modernity to appear in many years. It is in many ways a brilliant book."--Peter Berger, The Wall Street Journal "Working within a framework that sees the modern project as a sustained attempt to abolish the question of 'man' and replace it with 'history,' Manent breathes new life into the debate between ancients and moderns."--The Review of Politics "Certainly a word of thanks is due to the editors of the New French Thought series, and to Marc A. LePain, the translator of this volume, for making available to an American audience a work of such challenging clarity and depth."--Dianna Schaub, The Washington Times "Manent is perhaps the brightest light in a new generation of French intellectuals."--Russell Hittinger, First Things
    Back cover copy
    "More than simply an intellectual history of liberalism. . .[this is also] a powerful and impassioned analysis of modernity. . . . [Manent] writes with a gallic charm or with an "esprit de finesse" that is able to convey philosophical richness as well as be a good read."--Steven B. Smith, Yale University
    Table of contents
    Foreword Jean Bethke Elshtain Introduction Part One: THE SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS OF MODERN MAN CHAPTER I The Authority of History CHAPTER II The Sociological Viewpoint CHAPTER III The Economic System Part Two: THE SELF-AFFIRMATION OF MODERN MAN CHAPTER IV The Hidden Man CHAPTER V The Triumph of the Will CHAPTER VI The End of Nature Notes Index