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Culture and Anarchy [Kindle Edition]

Matthew Arnold
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

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About the Author

Matthew Arnold, a British poet and critic, wrote on the importance of culture in this work. He defined culture, famously, as "sweetness and light" - implying that culture represented everything good, everything not barbaric. The work is most important for the way it forwards the notion of an "organic" society - that is, a society that evolves slowly, that grows into maturity, that does not strive for sudden "advances" led by experts working all at once to implement great change. For anyone wondering about the relationship between modern conservatism and classical Liberalism, this is a decent place to start. "I am a Liberal," Arnold writes in the introduction, "yet I am a Liberal tempered by experience, reflection, and renouncement, and I am, above all, a believer in culture." If you wish to take an intellectual journey from Burke to Bork, Arnold must make up one leg of your trip.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 287 KB
  • Print Length: 156 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TS6Q7A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,586 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Influential ideas 28 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm interested in reflecting on our ideas about the two cultures debate and influences on why some subjects of study are considered high and low culture. I found some parts a bit turgid but on the whole a very insightful glimpse into how Arnold framed his ideas.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 16 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For anyone hoping to grasp the roots of modern conservatism 2 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Matthew Arnold, a British poet and critic, wrote on the importance of culture in this work. He defined culture, famously, as "sweetness and light" - implying that culture represented everything good, everything not barbaric. The work is most important for the way it forwards the notion of an "organic" society - that is, a society that evolves slowly, that grows into maturity, that does not strive for sudden "advances" led by experts working all at once to implement great change. For anyone wondering about the relationship between modern conservatism and classical Liberalism, this is a decent place to start. "I am a Liberal," Arnold writes in the introduction, "yet I am a Liberal tempered by experience, reflection, and renouncement, and I am, above all, a believer in culture." If you wish to take an intellectual journey from Burke to Bork, Arnold must make up one leg of your trip.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, ironic, and irrepressible classic 10 Jan. 2008
By Magellan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was probably Arnold's greatest work, and it can still be read with profit today. Mainly a reaction to the social and cultural uncertainties of mid-Victorian England, Arnold attempted to analyze and solve the problem of anarchy and cultural uncertainty as he saw it in this witty and articulate collection of essays. The U.S. is in a similar uncertain state today, but unfortunately we're more likely to see more false pundits pandering nonsense rather than another Matthew Arnold, whose intelligence, wit, and uncommon sense seem to be all too rare today in this country. As the Encyclopedia Britannica puts it, "Arnold saw in the idea of "the State," and not in any one class of society, the true organ and repository of the nation's collective "best self." No summary can do justice to this extraordinary book; it can still be read with pure enjoyment, for it is written with an inward poise, a serene detachment, and an infusion of mental laughter, which make it a masterpiece of ridicule as well as a searching analysis of Victorian society. The same is true of its unduly neglected sequel, Friendship's Garland (1871)."
29 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Breeze of Sanity 7 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
So much of modern criticism has go so far afield, that the appellation has almost lost any sense to it. To recapture what criticism meant before the novel, but useless ideas of structuralism, post-structuralism, deconstruction, post-modernism, et alia, Matthew Arnold is about as good a place to begin. His "Function of Criticism" and "Anarchy and Crticism" have become classics, even if they've been hidden from sight by academicians' self-serving agendas to bring nothing to light. This isn't a "conservative" vs. "liberal" thing, but an "intelligible and meaningful" vs. "labyrinthine and cockamamie" thing. Arnold is like encountering hermeneutics by having first visited Thomas Aquinas, or having studied democracy by having first studied Hobbes. Arnold is a seminal thinker, crtic, and student of the arts and society. He belongs in criticism's lexicon well before de Saussure, Derrida, Lacan, at alia.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, literate, and ingenious 19 Dec. 2005
By An Avid Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Arnold is a great mind and should be read by anyone who wants a greater understanding of our own humanity. Just excellent.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A historical perspective on Culture. 15 Jan. 2013
By Charles M. Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fascinating look at the historical meaning of Culture. I highly recommend it to any thinking person who wants to understand today's world and how we got where we are.
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