Freedom & Its Discontents: Reflections on Four Decades of American Moral Experience

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9781883642242: Freedom & Its Discontents: Reflections on Four Decades of American Moral Experience

Evokes Thoreau in his ability...powerful stuff. --L.A. Daily News

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Review:

The essays Peter Marin collected for this anthology are noteworthy not only for their diversity but for the very high quality of the writing. Marin takes on subjects such as Vietnam films, the Naropa Institute and its founder Chogyam Trungpa, "The New Narcissism," and the dilemma of how people both hate and help the homeless. Marin's writing is not just thoughtful but it's lively, contemplative while never boring.

From Booklist:

Welfare mothers. Vietnam vets. Alienated adolescents. Homeless men. Everywhere Marin looks he sees morally confused people. What's more, their confusion defies easy resolution within the ethics Marin espouses. But even when he cannot reach resolution, the author insists on an astonishing honesty and rigor in his moral reflections. Readers will be surprised, for instance, to find a self-described secularist conceding that secularism has helped create a destructive moral vacuum in modern culture. Likewise unexpected is the argument that deification of the self leads to a kind of "soft fascism." Whether visiting a Buddhist school in Colorado or interviewing Esalen enthusiasts in San Francisco, the author has an eye for ugly realities that refuse to fit within political orthodoxy. It is those realities that readers must attend to if they are to accept his invitation to participate in a renewed conversation about moral values. A provocative look at a topic too often reduced to sound bites. Bryce Christensen

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