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Sincerity : How a Moral Ideal Born Five Hundred Years Ago Inspired Religious Wars, Modern Art, Hipster Chic, and the Curious Notio
by R. Jay Magill


Overview - Bringing deep historical perspective and a brilliant contemporary spin to Lionel Trilling's 1972 Sincerity and Authenticity , R. Jay Magill Jr. argues that we can't shake sincerity's deep theological past, emotional resonance, and the sense of conscience it has carved in the Western soul.  Read more...

 
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More About Sincerity by R. Jay Magill
 
 
 
Overview
Bringing deep historical perspective and a brilliant contemporary spin to Lionel Trilling's 1972Sincerity and Authenticity, R. Jay Magill Jr. argues that we can't shake sincerity's deep theological past, emotional resonance, and the sense of conscience it has carved in the Western soul. From Protestant theology to paintings by crazy people, from French satire to the anti-hipster movement, Magill navigates history, religion, art, and politics to create a portrait of an ideal that, despite its abuse, remains a strange magnetic north in our secular moral compass.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780393080988
  • ISBN-10: 0393080986
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Publish Date: July 2012
  • Page Count: 272
  • Dimensions: 8.47 x 5.85 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.94 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Philosophy > History & Surveys - Modern
Books > Self-Help > Personal Growth - Happiness

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-04-09
  • Reviewer: Staff

Cultural critic Magill (Chic Ironic Bitterness) condenses 500 years of philosophy, religion, language, art, fashion, and politics into an energetic but dense analysis of the shifting meanings and uses of sincerity in Western Europe and the United States. His well-researched account (subtitled How a Moral Ideal Born Five Hundred Years Ago Inspired Religious Wars, Modern Art, Hipster Chic, and the Curious Notion That We All Have Something to Say (No Matter How Dull)) begins with the word’s disputed linguistic origins and ends with Sarah Palin, who is “certainly sincere in her belief that she is a maverick. She’s just not right about it.” Along the way, readers encounter the court of Henry VIII, Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, Montaigne’s library as he searches for “honesty with himself,” and Machiavelli’s claims that religion and politics “should not cross.” Magill dissects the ambitions of Puritans, the maxims of La Rochefoucauld, and the Discourse of Rousseau, all while quoting liberally from other figures as he zooms to the 20th century. Nietzsche’s claim that “‘sincerity finally turns against morality itself’” marks a shift. Enter Freud, then the Surrealists. Magill proves most lively as he brings the reader up to date; his Hipster Semiotic Appendix demonstrates his acuity and sense of humor. However, this burst of fun may be too little, too late, given the overwhelming nature of Magill’s exhaustive sourcing. (July)

 
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