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The City of Man
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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

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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

About the Author

Pierre Manent is Directeur d'etudes at l'Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales in Paris. He was formerly an assistant to Raymond Aron at the College de France and managing editor of Commentaire.

Reviews

As we approach the end of the century, which has seen perhaps the most rapid and pervasive changes in society and culture ever, many Western writers are reexamining the consequences of these changes and are discovering that they have not necessarily all been for the good. In this book, first published in France in 1994 and now translated into English for the first time, Manent (philosophy, cole des Hautes tudes Sociales, Paris) examines what he takes to be the fundamental rootlessness of Western civilization. He argues that in freeing ourselves from the intellectual orientation of the ancient world, which studied man "as man," we have become excessively self-conscious, fixing upon the study rather of "modern man." The result of this refocusing, Manent argues, is that we have lost man "as man" as a focus of study and come to see our culture as influenced by various waves of historical, social, and political necessity. In essence, we have become divorced from the traditions that formerly helped us to anchor and sustain ourselves, and we are now drifting confused, the victims of forces that we do not control and quite probably do not understand. Manent's thesis is not new, but his contribution to the debate is the presentation of the problem in a clear and cogent fashion, and for this reason, his work is valuable. Recommended for all libraries.ÄTerry C. Skeats, Bishop's Univ. Lib., Lennoxville, Quebec

"[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

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