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“Esolen signals with this book his presence in the top rank of authors of cultural criticism.” —American Spectator Play dates, soccer practice, day care, political correctness, drudgery without facts, television, video games, constant supervision, endless distractions: these and other insidious trends in child rearing and education are now the hallmarks of childhood. As author Anthony Esolen demonstrates in this elegantly written, often wickedly funny book, almost everything we are doing to children now constricts their imaginations. Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child takes square aim at these accelerating trends. This practical, insightful book is essential reading for any parent who cares about the paltry thing that childhood has become, and who wants to give a child something beyond the dull drone of today’s culture.
How do you raise a child who can sit with a good book and read? Who is moved by beauty? Who doesn’t have to buy the latest this or that vanity? Who is not bound to the instant urge, wherever it may be found? As a parent, you’ve probably asked these questions. And now Anthony Esolen provides the answers in this wise new book, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. Esolen reveals that our children are becoming slaves to compulsions. Some compulsions come from without: government mandates that determine what children are taught, how they are taught, and even what they can eat in school. Others come from within: the itches that must be scratched, the passions by which children (like the rest of us) can be mastered. Common Core, smartphones, video games, sex ed, travel teams, Twitter, politicians, popular music, advertising, a world with more genders than there are flavors of ice cream—these and many other aspects of contemporary life come under Esolen’s sweeping gaze in Life Under Compulsion. This elegantly written book restores lost wisdom about education, parenting, literature, music, art, philosophy, and leisure. Esolen shows why the common understanding of freedom—as a permission slip to do as you please—is narrow, misleading, and dangerous. He draws on great thinkers of the Western tradition, from Aristotle and Cicero to Dante and Shakespeare to John Adams and C. S. Lewis, to remind us what human freedom truly means. Life Under Compulsion also restates the importance of concepts so often dismissed today: truth, beauty, goodness, love, faith, and virtue. But above all else, it reminds us of a fundamental truth: that a child is a human being. Countercultural in the best sense of the term, Life Under Compulsion is an indispensable guide for any parent who wants to help a child remove the shackles and enjoy a truly free and full life.
In Ironies of Faith, celebrated Dante scholar and translator Anthony Esolen provides a profound meditation upon the use and place of irony in Christian art and in the Christian life. Beginning with an extended analysis of irony as an essentially dramatic device, Esolen explores those manifestations of irony that appear prominently in Christian thinking and art: ironies of time (for Christians believe in divine Providence, but live in a world whose moments pass away); ironies of power (for Christians believe in an almighty God who took on human flesh, and whose “weakness” is stronger than our greatest enemy, death); ironies of love (for man seldom knows whom to love, or how, or even whom it is that in the depths of his heart he loves best); and the figure of the Child (for Christians ever hear the warning voice of their Savior, who says that unless we become like unto one of these little ones, we shall not enter the Kingdom of God). Esolen’s finely wrought study draws from Augustine (Confessions), Dante (The Divine Comedy), Shakespeare (The Tempest), and Tolkien (“Leaf, By Niggle”); Francois Mauriac (A Kiss for the Leper), Milton (Paradise Lost), and Alessandro Manzoni (The Betrothed); the poems of George Herbert and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Edmund Spenser (Amoretti); Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol), Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov), and the anonymous author of the medieval poem Pearl, among other works. Readers who treasure the Christian literary tradition should not miss this illuminating book.
In The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to Western Civilization , Esolen describes the cultures that formed Western civilization, and explains to readers how each of them—from the Ancient Greeks and Romans, to the Renaissance humanists—has shaped the world we live in today. The latest work in the Politically Incorrect Guide (P.I.G.) series shows how the West laid the cornerstones of all modern civilization, including historical, artistic, and intellectual achievements.
Defending Marriage: Twelve Arguments for Sanity is a rousing, compelling defense of traditional, natural marriage. Here, Anthony Esolen—professor at Providence College and a prolific writer uses moral, theological, and cultural arguments to defend this holy and ancient institution, bedrock of society—and to illuminate the threats it faces from modern revolutions in law, public policy, and sexual morality. Inside, discover: - Traditional marriage’s roots in age-old religious, cultural, and natural laws - Why gay marriage is a metaphysical impossibility - How acceptance and legal sanction of gay marriage threatens the family - How the state becomes a religion when it attempts to elevate gay marriage, and enshrine as a civil right all consensual sex - How divorce and sexual license have brought marriage to the brink - How today’s culture has impoverished and emptied love of its true meaning In Defending Marriage Esolen expertly and succinctly identifies the cultural dangers of gay marriage and the Sexual Revolution which paved its way. He offers a stirring defense of true marriage, the family, culture, and love—and provides the compelling arguments that will return us to sanity, and out of our current morass.
A book to challenge the status quo, spark a debate, and get people talking about the issues and questions we face as a country!
Building a healthy marriage can give your kids a great head start in life. Kendra and John Smiley learned this through the ups and downs of raising three sons, all now grown. With her trademark humor, honesty, and the wisdom that she has shared on Focus on the Family and Family Life Today, Kendra offers practical, day-in, day-out insights on kids, marriage, and much more. She shares her wisdom on such topics as setting priorities and coming to grips with family backgrounds, showing how when we make the right choice for our marriage, we're making the right choice for our children. "Resident Dad" John pitches in with his perspective. Learn how to "parent like a pro"!

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