Winter 2002 • Vol. XXIV No. 1 Book ReviewsJanuary 1, 2002 |

Oxford Occidentalism, or the Idea of America

The Idea of Culture by Terry Eagleton. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000. 156 pp. £2.99 paper.   It is a minor tragedy that The Idea of Culture includes two rants: mad old Lear's at his loss of authority and Terry Eagleton's at the United States. Eagleton can be one of the finest dialectical thinkers in published history. By "dialectical" I mean unwilling to advance easy oppositions. Mass media and sound-bite society like simplistic binary oppositions: nature versus culture, art versus science, women versus men, planning versus markets, Them versus Us. Faced with crude dualisms, Eagleton typically displays the subtlety of the best poststructural critics or deconstructionists with the added commitment of his Marxism. Yet he is subtler than his predecessors in British cultural Marxism, Raymond Williams and E. P. Thompson, and less rigid than even the most tolerant of the Frankfurt School of cultural criticism, whose attitude toward popular culture was too often condemnation. The only

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To Feel an Idea

By Joanna Klink

The Idea of Culture by Terry Eagleton. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000. 156 pp. £2.99 paper.   It is a minor tragedy that The Idea of Culture includes two rants: mad old […]

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