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6 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Finely-Tuned Blast At PC
I thoroughly enjoyed Hughes' lively and pointed skewering of the apostles of PC and their tiresome love of victimhood. I must question how closely the Kirkus Reviews writer (cited above) read "Culture of Complaint" because the reviewer takes Hughes to task for not addressing some issues in more ponderous depth. The explanation is simple and is provided in the preface:...
Published on 1 Jun 1999

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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Australian Whine
Despite the fact that I agree with most of Hughes' analysis of both the American left and right, this book rubbed me as the ranting of someone who would never dare take a stand and jump into the political fray himself. The title is ironic, considering that the book is one continuous complaint itself. Hughes DOES present sound, well-articulated criticisms of both...
Published on 15 Mar 1999


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Finely-Tuned Blast At PC, 1 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America (Hardcover)
I thoroughly enjoyed Hughes' lively and pointed skewering of the apostles of PC and their tiresome love of victimhood. I must question how closely the Kirkus Reviews writer (cited above) read "Culture of Complaint" because the reviewer takes Hughes to task for not addressing some issues in more ponderous depth. The explanation is simple and is provided in the preface: "Culture" was drawn from a series of three lectures Hughes gave at Yale University, and the lectures are presented in the book with a minimum of editing. Heavily-footnoted lectures would have been a sure path to mass narcolepsy among Hughes' original sudiences.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bold and provocative challenge to the art world., 3 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America (Hardcover)
Robert Hughes tries to position himself somewhere in between Karen Finley and Jesse Helms in his essays about the politics of art in America. The result is that he comes out about where the Supreme Court has found itself in June 1998 -- linked to Jesse Helms anyway by critics, despite trying hard to distance himself. He apparently thinks Karen Finley is a fraud, and that's just not what the art crowd wants to hear. It was courageous of Hughes to write the book, which contains the seeds of "American Visions" (also worth reading).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Politics and Art, 28 Feb 2013
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Developed from a series of lectures given in 1992, Culture of Complaint is a discussion of political correctness, multiculturalism and the politicization of the arts in late twentieth-century America, both in academe and beyond. As an Australian art critic who had then lived in the US for more than 20 years, Hughes has brought the perspectives of both outsider and insider to bear on his topics. Although the book is intelligent journalism rather than an in-depth professional study, it is well informed and its generalisations are supported by specific examples. Hughes also strengthens his discussion by a historical perspective on the place of the arts in American life and politics. Overall, he makes a strong case for genuine tolerance and openness in the reception of the arts and rejects the extremes of both right-wing reactionaries and the politically correct separatists of identity politics. Hughes's short book represents an intelligent, reasonable voice which still has relevance to today's version of the culture wars.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CULTURE OF COMPLAINT, 19 Jun 2009
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This review is from: Culture of Complaint (Paperback)
I wish I could review this book, however five weeks after placing my order, I still haven't received it.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Australian Whine, 15 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America (Hardcover)
Despite the fact that I agree with most of Hughes' analysis of both the American left and right, this book rubbed me as the ranting of someone who would never dare take a stand and jump into the political fray himself. The title is ironic, considering that the book is one continuous complaint itself. Hughes DOES present sound, well-articulated criticisms of both liberal and conservative movements in the US, which, being a moderate, I find persuasive. However, it is so easy for pundits like himself and those on Sunday morning talking head shows to take shots at politicians from the outside, but don't have the intestinal fortitude to put their views on the line before a diverse, unpredictable electorate. I'll take him more seriously when he's served on the local city council for a couple of years.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An essay that you think you should read, 8 Aug 2011
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rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America (Hardcover)
This is one of those books that you read and enjoy and then remember virtually nothing about the contents, at least for me. It looks at the multi-culturalism wars in the US, sprinkles in some interesting examples, and then ends. I don't mean to be glib, as I respect the author and love his writing style and erudition, but that is all that it meant to me. I can not even remember clearly what his opinion was on multi-culturalism, and I just read it! The book just kind of rambles and I never understood why the author chose to write about the details that he did. That to me is a sign that the essay fails, though others liked it better.

Not recommended.
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Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America
Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America by Robert Hughes (Hardcover - 1 Jan 2006)
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