The Decadent Society
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The Decadent Society : How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success

3.81 (1,254 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A powerful portrait of how our turbulent age is defined by dark forces seemingly beyond our control from the New York Times columnist and bestselling author of Bad Religion.

The Decadent Society explains what happens when a rich and powerful society ceases advancing-how the combination of wealth and technological proficiency with economic stagnation, political stalemates, cultural exhaustion, and demographic decline creates a strange kind of "sustainable decadence," a civilizational malaise that could endure for longer than we think.
Ranging from the chaos of Trump-era Washington to the gridlock of the European Union; from our empty cradles to our lonely pathways through middle and old age; from the lost promise of the Space Age and early internet to today's earthbound surveillance state; from the recycling of Baby Boomer pop culture to the Brave New World we're making with drugs and virtual reality escapes, Douthat provides an enlightening diagnosis of the modern condition - how we got here, how long our malaise might last, and how, whether in renaissance or catastrophe, our decadence might ultimately end.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 23mm | 422g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1476785244
  • 9781476785240
  • 62,814

Review quote

"Clever and stimulating . . . Informative and well balanced . . . [An] intriguing theological-political idea." -Mark Lilla, The New York Times Book Review "Well-timed . . . This is a young man's book. Douthat can see our sclerotic institutions clearly because his vision is not distorted by out-of-date memories from a more functional era. . . . Charming and persuasive." -Peter Thiel for First Things "A scintillating diagnosis of social dysfunctions . . . His analysis is full of shrewd insights couched in elegant, biting prose. . . . The result is a trenchant and stimulating take on latter-day discontents." -Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Ross Douthat is the rare pundit who has managed to keep his head through the ideological turbulence of recent times - and his new book grows out of his characteristic equanimity and good sense." -Damon Linker, The Week "Douthat's best book yet, a work of deep cultural analysis, elegantly written and offering provocative thoughts on almost every page. It's hard to think of a current book that is as insightful about the way we live now as is this one." -Rod Dreher, The American Conservative "It is a testament to [Douthat's] singular skill and wisdom, then, that he has written so thoughtful and compelling a book that bemoans the end of progress. The Decadent Society is Douthat at his best-clever, considered, counterintuitive, and shot through with insight about modern America." -The Washington Free Beacon "Ambitious and entertaining." -Financial Times "A convincing argument." -The National Review "A substantial book by one of the more serious people in American public life today, The Decadent Society deserves a wide readership." -The New Atlantis Praise for To Change the Church:

"High-minded cultural criticism, concise, rhetorically agile, lit up by Douthat's love for the Roman Catholic Church . . . An adroit, perceptive, gripping account . . . It's strong stuff, conversationally lively and expressive." -The New York Times Book Review "Erudite and thought-provoking . . . Weaves a gripping account of Vatican politics into a broader history of Catholic intellectual life to explain the civil war within the church . . . Douthat manages in a slim volume what most doorstop-size, more academic church histories fail to achieve: He brings alive the Catholic 'thread that runs backward through time and culture, linking the experiences of believers across two thousand years.' He helps us see that Christians have wrestled repeatedly with the same questions over the past two millennia." -The Washington Post "Absorbing." -Booklist
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About Ross Douthat

Ross Douthat is a columnist for the New York Times op-ed page. He is the author of To Change the Church, Bad Religion, and Privilege, and coauthor of Grand New Party. Before joining the New York Times, he was a senior editor for the Atlantic. He is the film critic for National Review, and he cohosts the New York Times's weekly op-ed podcast, The Argument. He lives in New Haven with his wife and four children.
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Rating details

1,254 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 23% (290)
4 43% (545)
3 26% (330)
2 6% (73)
1 1% (16)
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