On the Eve of the Millenium: The Future of Democracy Through an Age of Unreason

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9780028740942: On the Eve of the Millenium: The Future of Democracy Through an Age of Unreason

"All my life," writes Conor Cruise O'Brien, "I have been fascinated and puzzled by nationalism and religion; by the interaction of the two forces, sometimes in unison, sometimes antagonistic." In these wide-ranging and penetrating essays, O'Brien examines how throughout the world today these age-old forces are once again threatening democracy, the rule of law, and freedom of expression -- particularly in the United States, the nation founded on Enlightenment values. He weaves together beautifully written discussions on these and other timely, related topics. Enlivening his grim predictions with dry wit, he nevertheless conveys an apocalyptic sense of the threats facing democracy as we approach the third millennium.

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About the Author:

Conor Cruise O'Brien is a distinguished statesman and writer. Over a long and varied career, he has served in the Irish external affairs office; was a member of the Irish delegation to the United Nations (at one point being seconded as a special assistant to UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld); was elected an Irish Labour Party parliamentarian, later serving in the cabinet; and was appointed editor-in-chief of the London Observer. A contributing editor to The Atlantic Monthly, O'Brien lectures around the world at leading unversities and writes weekly columns for The Independent in Britain and The Irish Independent. His many books include States of Ireland and The Great Melody: A Thematic Biography of Edmund Burke.

From Publishers Weekly:

O'Brien (States of Ireland) may have a touch of chiliastic fever, but in this collection of lectures given in 1994 at the University of Toronto's Massey College, it takes on a very humanistic form. O'Brien's ostensible purpose was to consider "matters arising on the eve of the millennium." This translates as the future of Western values and the Enlightenment tradition-of which the United States, he says, is the "heart and soul." Arrayed against the Enlightenment O'Brien sees an alliance of the Papacy and fundamentalist Islam; he sees creeping trivialization and insurgent regionalism and nationalism. But most insidiously, he sees the rotting of the intellectual underpinnings caused in no small part by increasingly hypocritical politicians (and media) who, blinded by the race for popularity, no longer recognize political expediency as such. O'Brien is not a purist advocate for the cold hard light of reason. For the Enlightenment tradition to survive, he says, it must become "an Enlightenment that respects the religious imagination." Perhaps because he is not much given to divination and perhaps because a lecture series doesn't lend itself to grand plans, there isn't much one could call an agenda and not all of the digressions are fruitful. But O'Brien, onetime editor of the London Observer and currently a contributing editor to the Atlantic, is able to draw on a wide range of sources from Horace to Edmund Burke to Chinese Marxist theoretician Lin Piao to give depth and interest to his arguments.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Free Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 176 pages. Dimensions: 8.3in. x 5.5in. x 0.6in.All my life, writes Conor Cruise OBrien, I have been fascinated and puzzled by nationalism and religion; by the interaction of the two forces, sometimes in unison, sometimes antagonistic. In these wide-ranging and penetrating essays, OBrien examines how throughout the world today these age-old forces are once again threatening democracy, the rule of law, and freedom of expression -- particularly in the United States, the nation founded on Enlightenment values. He weaves together beautifully written discussions on these and other timely, related topics. Enlivening his grim predictions with dry wit, he nevertheless conveys an apocalyptic sense of the threats facing democracy as we approach the third millennium. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780028740942

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