What do we mean by 'culture'? This word, purloined by journalists to denote every kind of collective habit, lies at the centre of contemporary debates about the past and future of society. In this thought-provoking book, Roger Scruton argues for the religious origin of culture in all its forms, and mounts a defence of the 'high culture' of our civilization against its radical and 'deconstructionist' critics. He offers a theory of pop culture, a panegyric to Baudelaire, a few reasons why Wagner is just as great as his critics fear him to be, and a raspberry to Cool Britannia. This book is a must for all people who are fed up to their tightly clenched front teeth with Derrida, Foucault, Oasis and Richard Rogers.
Roger Scruton is a philosopher and writer. Formerly Professor of Aesthetics at Birkbeck College, London and Visiting Professor at Boston College, USA. He now lives as a freelance writer in Wiltshire. He has published The West and the Rest, News from Somewhere and Gentle Regrets with Continuum.
What is Culture?; Culture and Cult; Enlightenment; The Aesthetic Gaze; Romanticism; Fantasy, Imagination and the Salesman; Modernism; Avant-garde and Kitsch; Yoofanasia; Idle Hands; The Devil's Work; Conclusions.