In the aftermath of World War II, America stood alone as the world's premier military power. Yet its martial confidence contrasted vividly with its sense of cultural inferiority. Still looking to a defeated and dispirited Europe for intellectual and artistic guidance, burgeoning transnational elite in New York and Washington embraced not only the war's refugees but many of their ideas as well, and nothing has proven more pernicious than those of the Frankfurt School and its reactionary philosophy of "critical theory". At once overly intellectualized and emotionally juvenile, critical theory - like Pandora's box - released a horde of demons into the American psyche. When everything could be questioned, nothing could be real, and the muscular, confident empiricism that had just won the war gave way, in less than a generation, to a Central European nihilism celebrated on college campuses across the United States. In The Devil's Pleasure Palace, Michael Walsh looks at how critical theory took root in America and came to affect nearly every aspect of American life and society - and what can be done to stop it.
©2015 Michael Walsh (P)2015 Tantor
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"I tried but I finally couldn't take it anymore"
Although I share most of Mr Walsh's attitudes and am in fact even more to the Right than he, this book desperately needed an editor. Meandering and crossing back over the same turf, without any organizing principle I could find --except self-indulgently showing off his knowledge of German opera in German-- this repetitive and labyrinthine ramble frustrated me so much that I gave up by Chapter 10.
Walsh provides a devastating critique of critical theory in an interesting and intellectually robust fashion. Even those who embrace such notions should at least listen to this audio presentation.
Woven throughout are references to the foundational stories of Western civilization. It's more than just a dry diatribe against distant philosophical hair-splitting.
Best Book I've Read All Year! If your worried for the world there is an answer when you know your enemy...
"The Most Intelligent Book You'll Hear This Year"
Brilliant! The writing, history, and artistic structure are masterful; the thesis is spot on; and the performance is pitch perfect. Mr. Walsh has written a robust defense of Western Culture and supported it with art, music, history, and philosophy. Structuring the defense around Faust is masterful in itself and the performance just rounds out that mastery. Having thus far listened just once, but planning to begin a second listen on tomorrow's morning commute, I can only imagine this will be one of those staples one returns to; like The Lessons of History, A Christmas Carol, Good Omens, or The Everlasting Man. Thank you, Mr. Walsh, for gloriously defending our culture and being willing to identify the logical, nihilistic end of today's post-modern cynicism that masquerades as culture... (from an admitted Kahaniac).
"Great book on why the left always want to destroy"
Think of the weird relationship between Islam and the political left. Ever wonder why? This book takes you to the root of the problem.
"Wonderful insight into the Frankfurt School"
This is a great read for those wishing to be more informed about the a effort to restructure Western Civilization.
"Good analysis, needs less opera"
A bit too much opera for my taste. But an engaging case, well supported. The author knows his subject.
"A Must Read"
A timely, succinct, analysis of events leading up to the demise of the late, great, United States.
This is an important book for any conservative to read. If you read the Andrew Breitbart book, this book goes many levels deeper into the Democrat Media Complex and the Origins of the modern American liberal.
The adversary is a whiner, devoid of courage, totally self absorbed, and evil. They exist because we choose to allow them to influence our minds via political correctness.
The author likes his opera and classical literature, fortunately for me, I do to. Don't be intimidated by this, as other raters of the book seem a bit put-off. He also talks about movies, so relax.
Andrew Breitbart was a happy warrior, Walsh is more hardcore. You want to know his story.
"Partisan and Undisciplined"
A coherent address toward the topic, i.e., not a religious polemic
The Devil’s Pleasure Palace
I listened to the front matter and a couple of chapters before deciding to return the book. If you're a Catholic, maybe you'll have some sympathy with this author's approach; however, where a reader needs a less partisan approach to an analysis of critical theory, then the book is disappointing. Compared with the many excellent books on audible.com, this work is inferior scholarship even where it shows some interesting insights. The analysis isn't articulated well, the author seems to set up 'straw dummies' of opposition to tear them down with oddly religious arguments that seem quite remote from what a modern consensus view might support. Basically, I feel that this author is like an undergraduate on steroids pushing a badly formed set of arguments that seem to jump here and there depending on the author's whim. It's uncomfortable listening after the much better material easily available here.
It's well read
The first two chapters are 'bitsy'. I feel it needs much better editing and a disciplined focus
Maybe if you're a catholic and feel hostile to 'the left'.
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