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    From Plato to NATO: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents (Paperback) By (author) David Gress

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    DescriptionAn in-depth intellectual history of the Western idea and a passionate defense of its importance to America's future, "From Plato to NATO" is the first book to make sense of the legacy of the West at a time when it is facing its greatest challenges. Readers of Francis Fukuyama, John Gray, Samuel Huntington, and other analysts of the dilemmas of Western nations in the twenty-first century will find in David Gress's original account a fuller description of what the West really is and how, with the best of intentions, it has been misrepresented. Most important, they will encounter a new vision of Western identity and how it can be recovered. Early in the twentieth century, American educators put together a story of Western civilization, its origins, history, and promise that for the subsequent fifty years remained at the heart of American college education. The story they told was of a Western civilization that began with the Greeks and continued through 2,500 years of great books and great ideas, culminating in twentieth-century progressive liberal democracy, science, and capitalist prosperity. In the 1960s, this Grand Narrative of the West came under attack. Over the next thirty years, the critics turned this old story into its opposite: a series of anti-narratives about the evils, the failures, and the betrayals of justice that, so they said, constituted Western history. The victory of Western values at the end of the cold war, the spread of democracy and capitalism, and the worldwide impact of American popular culture have not revived the Grand Narrative in the European and American heartlands of the West. David Gress explains this paradox, arguing that the Grand Narrative of the West was flawed from the beginning: that the West did not begin in Greece and that, in morality and religion, the Greeks were an alien civilization whose contribution was mediated through Rome and Christianity. Furthermore, in assuming a continuity from the Greeks to modern liberalism, we have mistakenly downplayed or rejected everything in between, focusing on the great ideas and the great books rather than on real history with all its ambiguities, conflicts, and contradictions. The heart of Gress's case for the future of the West is that the New must remember its roots in the Old and seek a synthesis. For as the attacks have demonstrated, the New West cannot stand alone. Its very virtues -- liberty, reason, progress -- grew out of the Old West and cannot flourish when removed from that rich soil.


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  • Full bibliographic data for From Plato to NATO

    Title
    From Plato to NATO
    Subtitle
    The Idea of the West and Its Opponents
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) David Gress
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 624
    Width: 152 mm
    Height: 231 mm
    Thickness: 41 mm
    Weight: 953 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780743264884
    ISBN 10: 0743264886
    Classifications

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 25520
    BIC E4L: PHI
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S2.1
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: HPC
    BISAC V2.8: HIS037000
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    B&T General Subject: 431
    LC classification: QH
    BISAC V2.8: POL010000
    B&T Approval Code: A14500000
    Abridged Dewey: 900
    BISAC V2.8: POL011000
    DC21: 909.09812
    BISAC V2.8: HIS038000, HIS000000
    DC22: 909.09812
    B&T Approval Code: A15202003
    BISAC V2.8: NAT000000, HIS039000
    Thema V1.0: QDH
    Illustrations note
    black & white illustrations
    Publisher
    SIMON & SCHUSTER
    Imprint name
    The Free Press
    Publication date
    19 May 2004
    Publication City/Country
    New York, NY
    Review quote
    Norman Davies "author of "Europe: A History" The idea of Western civilization is under attack. Some denounce it for racism, elitism, and exclusivism. Others, like myself, think that it presents a false view of European history. But no one interested in history, culture, or education can ignore the conflict. Whether one wants to sling a shot at the ramparts or to stand shoulder to shoulder with the besieged, one has first to ascertain where the battle lines are drawn. David Gress's book, which is written to strengthen the defense, outlines the progress of the siege so far. It can be read with pleasure and profit by participants and spectators alike.