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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.
Why a new translation of the Roman Missal? Why the new responses at Mass? Guided by Anthony Esolen, a master translator and professor of literature, you'll go deep into the meaning of each part of the liturgy. Esolen explains the importance of this new translation, and provides context, scriptural references, notes which reference the original Latin text, and more. This is a must-have guide for unlocking the riches of the newly implemented and newly translated Roman Missal. The Beauty of the Word gives a comprehensive, step-by-step commentary to the changes in the Order of Mass (including Prefaces), the Proper of Time, and the Proper of Saints. The unique insights found in this book give the reader a full understanding of the scriptural, liturgical, linguistic, and pastoral rationale of the revised Missal.
What is the meaning of sex? Our society is obsessed with sex—and yet we don’t understand it at all. Acclaimed philosopher J. Budziszewski remedies the problem in this wise, gracefully written book about the nature, meaning, and mysteries of sexuality. On the Meaning of Sex corrects the most prevalent errors about sex— particularly those of the sexual revolution, which by mistaking pleasure for a good in itself has caused untold pain and suffering.
While the term acedia may be unfamiliar, the vice, usually translated as sloth, is all too common. Sloth is not mere laziness, however, but a disgust with reality, a loathing of our call to be friends with God, and a spiteful hatred of place and life itself. As described by Josef Pieper, the slothful person does not "want to be as God wants him to be, and that ultimately means he does not wish to be what he really, fundamentally is." Sloth is a hellish despair. Our own culture is deeply infected, choosing a destructive freedom rather than the good work for which God created us. Acedia and Its Discontents resists despair, calling us to reconfigure our imaginations and practices in deep love of the life and work given by God. By feasting, keeping sabbath, and working well, we learn to see the world as enchanting, beautiful, and good--just as God sees it. "In the arid wasteland that is academic writing, amid the wider desert that is modern secular thought, R. J. Snell's book on acedia is an oasis of flowers and fruit and fresh water. Professor Snell reminds us that man must never be made subordinate to work, nor even to the empty 'vacations' that are but interruptions in work. Like his great predecessors Josef Pieper, Jacques Maritain, Max Picard, Romano Guardini, and Pope John Paul II, he diagnoses the besetting disease of our time--spiritual torpor--and prescribes as a remedy the joyful celebration of the Sabbath. A stupendous book, filled with the happiness of wonder."--ANTHONY ESOLEN, author of Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child "A whole book about just one vice, 'sloth'? Ah, but this book is different-and devastating. It exposes a deeply hidden and deeply destructive fundamental attitude that pervades our culture, an attitude that comes not just from the flesh (laziness) or from the world (world-weariness, cynicism), but from the Devil: disgust and rebellion toward Being itself, natural as well as supernatural. This is the 'noonday devil' that great saints have labelled 'sloth.' Know your enemy. Read this book "--PETER KREEFT, author of Practical Theology: Spiritual Direction from St. Thomas Aquinas "Acedia--the sin of sloth, so often confused with laziness--is the most overlooked but widespread illness of the modern age; the emptiness under the mask of the world's frantic activity. R.J. Snell helps us see why this is so and what Christians can do about it with elegant, penetrating insight. This is a terrific book about a badly misunderstood 'deadly sin' and its antidotes."--CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia "Our modern Empire of Desire manufactures endless appetite while simultaneously denying that anything is objectively good, beautiful, or desirable. The result is not great yearning or passion, but acedia or sloth, a pervasive 'noonday demon' which prowls about our culture like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. In this learned study, R.J. Snell draws on the vast spiritual and intellectual resources of the Christian tradition to diagnose the deep structure of our contemporary nihilism, exposing this demon and its far-reaching effects with elegance and profundity and thereby providing the weapons necessary to slay it. This is a timely and important book."--MICHAEL HANBY, author of No God, No Science: Theology, Cosmology, Biology R. J. SNELL is professor of philosophy at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA, and executive director of the Agora Institute for Civic Virtue and the Common Good. His recent books include Authentic Cosmopolitanism (with Steve Cone) and The Perspective of Love: Natural Law in a New Mode. He and his wife have four young children.
For the first time in history Americans face the prospect of a unified set of national standards for K-12 education. While this goal sounds reasonable, and Common Core has been presented as a state-led effort, it is anything but. This book analyzes Common Core from the standpoint of its deleterious effects on curriculum--language arts, mathematics, history, and more--as well as its questionable legality, its roots in the aggressive spending of a few wealthy donors, its often-underestimated costs, and the untold damage it will wreak on American higher education. At a time when more and more people are questioning the wisdom of federally-mandated one-size-fits-all solutions, Drilling through the Core offers well-considered arguments for stopping Common Core in its tracks.
In 1974, screen legend Marlon Brando has made a dramatic return to form with The Godfather and Last Tango In Paris. But his family life is crumbling and his sanity begins to slip away. Only an imagined dialogue with his best friend, actor Wally Cox, can soothe the troubled actor and help him pull back from the brink of self-destruction. Cox, who died over a year before, is the perfect foil for BrandoOs drunken self-pity. Marlon and Wally relive memories of their Illinois childhood and their years sharing an apartment in 1950Os New York. They discuss and dissect the dilapidation of their friendship in the O60Os and O70Os, as well as each manOs career highs and lows. Politics and pop culture are touched upon as Marlon conjures another of their famously animated conversations. Ultimately, the great actor cannot escape facing his own lesser instincts and taking responsibility for the repeated cycles of destructive behavior in his family line. He must also face the harrowing prospect of what is to come for his children if he cannot change his ways. Last Tango With Marlon is a fast, funny, furious exchange that runs the gamut of human emotion and experience from the acclaimed writer of The Trial Of Davy Crockett.

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