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Anthony Esolen - Author

About the Author

Books by Anthony Esolen

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child

Author: Anthony Esolen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/11/2019

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, usually to serve the ulterior motives of the constrictors. Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child takes square aim at these accelerating trends, in a bitingly witty style reminiscent of C. S. Lewis, while offering parents-and children-hopeful alternatives. Esolen shows how imagination is snuffed out at practically every turn: in the rearing of children almost exclusively indoors; in the flattening of love to sex education, and sex education to prurience and hygiene; in the loss of traditional childhood games; in the refusal to allow children to organize themselves into teams; in the effacing of the glorious differences between the sexes; in the dismissal of the power of memory, which creates the worst of all possible worlds in school-drudgery without even the merit of imparting facts; in the strict separation of the child's world from the adult's; and in the denial of the transcendent, which places a low ceiling on the child's developing spirit and mind. But Esolen doesn't stop at pointing out the problem; he offers clear solutions as well. With charming stories from his own boyhood and an assist from the master authors and thinkers of the Western tradition, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child is a welcome respite from the overwhelming banality of contemporary culture. Interwoven throughout this indispensable guide to child rearing is a rich tapestry of the literature, music, art, and thought that once enriched the lives of American children. Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child confronts contemporary trends in parenting and schooling by reclaiming lost traditions. 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.

Nostalgia Going Home in a Homeless World

Nostalgia Going Home in a Homeless World

Author: Anthony Esolen Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/10/2018

Alone among the creatures of the world, man suffers a pang both bitter and sweet. It is an ache for the homecoming. The Greeks called it nostalgia. Post-modern man, homeless almost by definition, cannot understand nostalgia. If he is a progressive, dreaming of a utopia to come, he dismisses it contemptuously, eager to bury a past he despises. If he is a reactionary, he sentimentalizes it, dreaming of a lost golden age. In this profound reflection, Anthony Esolen explores the true meaning of nostalgia and its place in the human heart. Drawing on the great works of Western literature from the Odyssey to Flannery O'Connor, he traces the development of this fundamental longing from the pagan's desire for his earthly home, which most famously inspired Odysseys' heroic return to Ithaca, to its transformation under Christianity. The doctrine of the fall of man forestalls sentimental traditionalism by insisting that there has been no Eden since Eden. And the revelation of heaven as our true and final home, directing man's longing to the next world, paradoxically strengthens and ennobles the pilgrim's devotion to his home in this world. In our own day, Christian nostalgia stands in frank opposition to the secular usurpation of this longing. Looking for a city that does not exist, the progressive treats original sin, which afflicts everyone, as mere political error, which afflicts only his opponents. To him, history is a long tale of misery with nothing to teach us. Despising his fathers, he lives in a world without piety. Only the future, which no one can know, is real to him. It is an idol that justifies all manner of evil and folly. Nostalgia rightly understood is not an invitation to repeat the sins of the past or to repudiate what experience and reflection have taught us, but to hear the call of sanity and sweetness again. Perhaps we will shake our heads as if awaking from a bad and feverish dream and, coming to ourselves, resolve, like the Prodigal, to arise and go to my father's house.

Life Under Compulsion Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child

Life Under Compulsion Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child

Author: Anthony Esolen Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2015

How to raise children who can sit with a good book and read? Who are moved by beauty? Who delight in innocence? Who have no compulsions - who don't have to buy the latest this or that vanity? Who are not bound to the instant urge, wherever it may be found? Thoughtful parents everywhere ask such questions but struggle to find answers. But now, in this eagerly anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed book Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, Anthony Esolen shows the way. Although freedom has become a byword of our age, 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 shows why our children are not free at all but in fact are becoming slaves to compulsions. Some compulsions come from without: government mandates that determine what children 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 flavours 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. It 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 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.

Life Under Compulsion

Life Under Compulsion

Author: Anthony Esolen Format: eBook Release Date: 12/05/2015

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 creamthese 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 freedomas a permission slip to do as you pleaseis 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.

Life Under Compulsion

Life Under Compulsion

Author: Anthony Esolen Format: eBook Release Date: 12/05/2015

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 creamthese 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 freedomas a permission slip to do as you pleaseis 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.

Ironies of Faith

Ironies of Faith

Author: Anthony Esolen Format: eBook Release Date: 22/04/2014

InIronies of Faith, celebrated Dante scholar and translator Anthony Esolen provides a profound meditation upon the use and place of irony in Christian art and in the Christian life. Beginning with an extended analysis of irony as an essentially dramatic device, Esolen explores those manifestations of irony that appear prominently in Christian thinking and art: ironies of time (for Christians believe in divine Providence, but live in a world whose moments pass away); ironies of power (for Christians believe in an almighty God who took on human flesh, and whose ';weakness' is stronger than our greatest enemy, death); ironies of love (for man seldom knows whom to love, or how, or even whom it is that in the depths of his heart he loves best); and the figure of the Child (for Christians ever hear the warning voice of their Savior, who says that unless we become like unto one of these little ones, we shall not enter the Kingdom of God).Esolen's finely wrought study draws from Augustine (Confessions), Dante (The Divine Comedy), Shakespeare (The Tempest), and Tolkien (';Leaf, By Niggle'); Francois Mauriac (A Kiss for the Leper), Milton (Paradise Lost), and Alessandro Manzoni (The Betrothed); the poems of George Herbert and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Edmund Spenser (Amoretti); Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol), Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov), and the anonymous author of the medieval poemPearl, among other works. Readers who treasure the Christian literary tradition should not miss this illuminating book.

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child

Author: Anthony Esolen Format: eBook Release Date: 08/04/2014

';Esolen signals with this book his presence in the top rank of authors of cultural criticism.' American SpectatorPlay 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 Childtakes 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.

Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization

Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization

Author: Anthony Esolen Format: eBook Release Date: 27/05/2008

Christianity, Judaism, dead white males, old-fashioned morality, the traditional family, tradition itself-everything the liberals hate can be summed up in two words: Western civilization. Here is the ultimate Politically Incorrect Guide: a sprightly, informative summary of the original source of all things politically incorrect from Moses, Caesar, and Christ, to Dante, Thomas More, and the Founding Fathers. Western civilization is under attack. At universities and in the media, professors and pundits decry Western civilization as exploitative, destructive, and without value. But fear not: coming to its defense is Professor Anthony Esolen's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization. This PI Guide will knock down the relativist arguments and show how the West laid the cornerstones for all of modern civilization, including historical, artistic, and intellectual achievements. Using historical evidence and compelling arguments, Esolen proves why we not only owe it to history but also to ourselves to set the record straight and respectfully acknowledge Western civilization's vital role in shaping our values and our world.