February 24th 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Weatherill demand places Murray-Darling in jeopardy

EDITORIAL China completes island building in South China Sea

CANBERRA OBSERVED Greens: wouldn't know a cowardly act if they did one

REDEFINITION OF MARRIAGE Government forms say it is fluid gender marriage

FREEDOM AND LAW Gender and anti-discrimination: wedges between you and freedom

HISTORY A look back at B.A. Santamaria gives us a forward impulse

GENDER POLITICS Transgenderism: A state-sponsored religion

LAW AND SOCIETY Protecting freedom of religion in Australia

HISTORY Hungary, 62 years on from the anti-Soviet uprising

MUSIC Reel to real: Johann Johannsson, RIP

CINEMA Sweet Country: Sour taste of bush justice

HUMOUR

BOOK REVIEW Lessons from the UK front of the GFC

BOOK REVIEW The dragon has woken and rumbled

BOOK REVIEW Recovery manual for morals and culture

LETTERS

Books promotion page

FOOLS, FRAUDS AND FIREBRANDS:
Thinkers of the New Left

Roger Scruton

$35.00


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(Bloomsbury Continuum, London, 2015)

Hardcover:304 pages

ISBN: 9781408187333

Price: AUD$35.00

 

The thinkers who have been most influential on the attitudes of the New Left are examined in this study by one of the leading critics of leftist orientations in modern Western civilisation. Scruton begins with a ruthless analysis of New Leftism and concludes with a critique of the key strands in its thinking. He conducts a reappraisal of such major left-wing thinkers as: E. P. Thompson, Ronald Dworkin, R. D. Laing, Jurgen Habermas, Gyorgy Lukacs, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Slavoj Zizek, Ralph Milliband and Eric Hobsbawm. In addition to assessments of these thinkers’ philosophical and political contributions, the book contains a biographical and bibliographical section summarising their careers and most important writings.

In Thinkers of the New Left Scruton asks, what does the left look like today and as it has evolved since 1989? He charts the transfer of grievances from the working class to women, gays and immigrants, asks what can we put in the place of radical egalitarianism, and what explains the continued dominance of antinomian attitudes in the intellectual world? Can there be any foundation for resistance to the leftist agenda without religious faith?

Scruton’s exploration of these important issues is written with skill, perception and at all times with pellucid clarity. The result is a devastating critique of modern left-wing thinking.

Reviews

“Eminent British philosopher and polymath Scruton gives a sharp-edged, provocative critique of leading leftist thinkers since the mid-twentieth century ... complex and erudite” –  Publisher’s Weekly US

“Caustic, highly recherché, and simply great fun to read for the questing intellectual soul.” –  Kirkus Reviews

“From the standpoint of a serious conservatism, it honestly assesses the political and philosophical contributions of the Left. The book also addresses what is likely our most pressing question: 'Can there be any foundation for resistance to the leftist agenda without religious faith?'” –  Catholic World Report

“Since he no longer has a university career to protect, Scruton can now tweak the nose of academic leftism to his heart's content… Scruton is at his best, (and funniest) when trying to make sense of [Alain] Badiou’s weird confection historical materialism and Platonic mathematical theory” –  Jonathan Derbyshire, Prospect

“The book is a masterpiece ... In crisp, sometimes brilliant prose, Mr Scruton considers scores of works in three languages, giving the reader an understanding of each thinker's overarching aim and his place within the multifaceted movement known as the New Left. He neither ridicules nor abuses the writers he considers; he patiently deconstructs them, first explaining their work in terms they themselves would recognise and then laying bare their warped assumptions and empty pretensions.” –  Barton Swaim, Wall Street Journal

 

Professor Roger Scruton is freelance writer, philosopher, author of more than 40 books, broadcaster and public commentator. He is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.


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