May 13, 2006
Dark Days for America?
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Airs weekdays at 12PM on 93.9 FM and AM 820 and Tuesdays through Saturdays at 3AM on AM 820
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Cultural historian Morris Berman explains why he thinks modern-day America is medieval. And Time columnist Joe Klein tells us what he thinks is wrong with American politics today. Plus, some poetry from a self-confessed sinner. And Sebastian Junger shares his true-crime take on the Boston Strangler.
Host Leonard Lopate lets you in on the best conversations with writers, actors, ex-presidents, dancers, scientists, comedians, historians, grammarians, curators, filmmakers, and do-it-yourself experts. Live interaction is critical to Lopate's conversational and personal style. "I think it's crucial to maintain eye contact when you're discussing complex matters with the likes of John Updike, Doris Lessing, Bill Bradley, Mark Morris, and Francis Ford Coppola, all of whom are return guests to Leonard Lopate on WNYC, " says Lopate.
May 07, 2006
Interview with Michael Krasny
Wed, Apr 26, 2006
Cultural Historian Morris Berman
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Cultural historian Morris Berman joins Forum to discuss his latest book, "Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire."
Host: Michael Krasny
Guests: Morris Berman , Berman is a visiting professor in sociology at Catholic University in Washington, DC, and author of "The Twilight of American Culture."
Clear Sighted Historical Perspective
May 5, 2006
Reviewer: Dave Alber (CA) - See all my reviews
Morris Berman's Dark Ages America is an exceedingly well-researched study of contemporary America. More than exposing the problems of the present political regime, Berman's book exposes the large-scale structural dilemmas beneath the surface of American consciousness, which present an extraordinary amount of momentum toward a disastrous future. Gleaning insights from macro historical perspectives, such as present in Joseph Tainter's The Collapse of Complex Societies, Berman demonstrates that America has moved beyond the `Twilight' phase of its cultural history and that `post-9-11 America' is quickly moving into `Night.'
Berman explores four characteristics of the European Dark Ages. With exhaustive, always relevant, and often humorous findings, he demonstrates that contemporary America vigorously expresses (if not outright flaunts) these outward symptoms of cultural, moral, political, and economic decay. The signs are: the triumph of religion over reason; the breakdown of education and critical thinking; legalization of torture; and marginalization of the United States on the world stage.
Each page of Dark Ages America is compact with information, yet Berman's fluid and accessible prose pulls arguments and insights together into a clear-sighted and unified vision. For those readers who still see the light of youth in dead forms, this book will be a shocking revelation. However, for seekers of truth, this book is a sobering, yet ultimately hopeful vision of America's present cultural crisis. I highly recommend it!