Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Reader Recs: The Devil's Pleasure Palace by Michael Walsh

The Devil's Pleasure Palace :
The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West

Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Encounter Books ()
ISBN-13: 978-1594037689
Kindle: 2936 KB
Publisher: Encounter Books (August 11, 2015)

Available on Amazon

Don't Judge It By Its Cover

One of our own AoSHQ writers, Thomas Lenon, read this recently and had this to say:

Milton’s Paradise Lost, German Opera, Classical Music, Good vs Evil, God vs Satan, and The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory. Perhaps you have already familiarized yourself with these topics, but if you haven’t, this hard hitting book will explain a great deal about current political events. Easy to understand for an amateur philosopher. I was reluctant to buy it when it was first suggested to me, because it is written by an Art Critic. I caught it deeply discounted, and it has since gone back to full price. (#1 in its category).

Walsh quotes Milton : "I can not praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race. . ." Milton – Areopagitica

Thomas is right that full-price seems a bit much - these traditional publishers have no idea how to price e-books. So I think I will either try my library or wait for the price to go down, which it should when a soft-cover is released. Since this was published almost a year ago, that should be pretty soon.

Thomas's own books, the science fiction Wolf Hunter series, are very attractively priced at just a couple of bucks each or free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. (Btw, you can actually get a free one month trial of Kindle Unlimited to see if you like it.)

More about The Devil's Pleasure Palace from the blurb:

In the aftermath of World War II, America stood alone as the world’s premier military power. Yet its martial confidence contrasted vividly with its sense of cultural inferiority. Still looking to a defeated and dispirited Europe for intellectual and artistic guidance, burgeoning trans-national elite in New York and Washington embraced not only the war’s refugees, but many of their ideas as well, and nothing has proven more pernicious than those of the Frankfurt School and its reactionary philosophy of “critical theory.” At once overly intellectualized and emotionally juvenile, Critical Theory – like Pandora’s Box – released a horde of demons into the American psyche. When everything could be questioned, nothing could be real, and the muscular, confident empiricism that had just won the war gave way, in less than a generation, to a central-European nihilism celebrated on college campuses across the United States.

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  1. There are times when I am at a loss for words, and this is one of them. I really liked the Devil's Pleasure Palace, and then self doubt creeps in. Who am I among thousands to offer an opinion?

    I could even learn to like German Opera, if I spoke German. I like some of the music already. My knowledge of opera comes from Victor Borge.

    1. Books are like food - if you consume it you are qualified to have an opinion.

      Victor Borge - funny guy. :)