Equality, Decadence, and Modernity
The Collected Essays of Stephen J. Tonsor
- Cloth • Pages: 386
- ISBN10/13: 1932236627 / 9781932236620
- List Price: $30.00
- Internet Special: $24.00
- Paper • Pages: 386
- ISBN10/13: 1932236635 / 9781932236637
- List Price: $18.00
- Internet Special: $14.40
Over the course of the past four decades Stephen J. Tonsor, professor emeritus of European intellectual history at the University of Michigan, has made a reputation within the conservative intellectual movement as a trenchant thinker, forceful writer, and wittysometimes causticlecturer. But without a book to introduce his thought to the wider public, Tonsor has remained largely unknown outside conservative circles. For many readers, then, this generous collection, edited by historian Gregory Schneider, will serve as an enlightening introduction to the work of a man who is among the most penetrating of conservative thinkers.
Equality, Decadence, and Modernity features substantial excerpts from Tonsor’s two booklength unpublished manuscripts, "Decadence" and "Equality," as well as insightful essays on conservative thought and politics. Among other pieces, this volume includes Tonsor's controversial polemic, "Why I Too Am Not a Neoconservative." "Halfway from modernity is not far enough," asserted Tonsor in this essay. Yet Tonsor's critique of modernity, and much else, is complex and always intelligent. With the publication of Equality, Decadence, and Modernity, readers may now share in, and profit from, that intelligence.
What They're Saying...
“Gregory L. Schneider is to be commended for putting together these gracefully composed and intellectually forceful essays by one of America’s leading intellectual historians. The resulting anthology bears witness to Professor Tonsor’s breadth as a historical thinker and to his depth of observations about the age in which he finds himself. Unlike the late modern culture that he shows to be out of joint, his commentaries suggest steadiness of judgment and reflective maturity. One finishes the volume wishing that the author had given us even more.”
— Paul Gottfried, Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College and author of After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State
“This is vintage Tonsoralmost on a par with hearing Tonsor in person.”
— Forrest McDonald, Distinguished Research Professor of History, University of Alabama
“Tonsor’s penetrating, learned, and readable essays illuminate the most painful problems of contemporary politics and historiography. In particular, they provide an indispensable prolegomenon for the much-needed comprehensive history of the idea and practice of equality he calls for.”
— Eugene Genovese, author of Roll Jordan Roll: The World the Slaves Made
"This book is worth not only reading but reading and rereading. Gregory L. Schneider’s introduction is both modest and excellent."
— John Lukacs, The American Conservative
"Those schooled in contemporary Anglo-American philosophy have for the most part abandoned the notion that philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom. Philosophy since Kant has rejected the claim that there is a fixed body of truth waiting to be known and passed to succeeding generations. Yet historians are there to remind us that there is meaning to the phrase, ‘the wisdom of the past,’ and furthermore that man cannot long remain adrift in a sea of ignorance and uncertainly. Old truths may be periodically erased from social memory, but societies, like nature, remain subject to universal, irreversible laws. Writing in the mode of Oswald Spangler and Arnold Toynbee, Stephen J. Tonsor, long time professor of history at the University of Michigan, reminds us that ideas have consequences.”
— Jude P. Dougherty, Review of Metaphysics
"The vigor and acuity with which Tonsor sets forth his insights make this an invaluable book for all students of contemporary US and European history."
— Choice Magazine