In this bracing collection of provocative essays, the author examines the false benevolence that characterizes the power classes in contemporary America. While they tragically conceive their desire for authority as a form of virtue, the elite classes have set about remaking schools, rewriting the U.S. Constitution, dehumanizing charity, and making war on tradition in the name of a crude form of Social Darwinism.
Michael Knox Beran's previous books include Forge of Empires, 1861-1871 and The Last Patrician, a study of Robert Kennedy that was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Most of the pieces in Pathology of the Elites first appeared in City Journal, where Mr. Beran is a contributing editor. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and the National Review.
Michael Knox Beran is one of the most eloquent and deeply humane writers in America. It's not just that he dazzles with the breadth of his knowledge of Western literature and American history; he genuinely enlightens. Read this book-and profit. -- Rich Lowry, National Review Michael Knox Beran makes here a bid to revive a lost art-that of the erudite general critic, ranging widely across history, literature, and philosophy in service of a grand critique of our current political scene. The result is a package of edifying essays, leagues removed from the repetitive dreariness and mendacity of what passes for commentary and analysis in much of the mass media today. -- Steven Hayward Beran demonstrates that literary grace, erudition, and common sense are not contraries. He embodies them. -- Theodore Dalrymple, author of Our Culture, What's Left of It Michael Knox Beran examines the false benevolence that characterizes the power classes in contemporary America. Their enlightened pity for their fellow citizens, he charges, conceals an instinct for power rather than compassion. Beran argues that today's elites have come to rely on a social philosophy that reduces people to a mass of social groups and types, obscures their individual humanity, and makes them easier to manipulate. * Carolina Journal *
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