ON-Lion Letter

James Burnham’s 1964 classic Suicide of the West:  An Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism -- reissued by Encounter Books -- remains a startling account of the nature of the modern era.  It offers a profound, in-depth analysis of what is happening in the world today by putting into focus the intangible, often-vague doctrine of American liberalism.  It parallels the loosely defined liberal ideology rampant in American government and institutions, with the flow, ebb, growth, climax, and the eventual decline and death of both ancient and modern civilizations.

Burnham maintains that western suicidal tendencies lie not so much in the lack of resources or military power, but through an erosion of intellectual, moral, and spiritual factors abundant in modern western society and the mainstay of liberal psychology.

Devastating in its relentless dissection of the liberal syndrome, Suicide of the West will lead many liberals to painful self-examination, buttress the thinking conservative’s viewpoint, and incite others, no doubt, to infuriation.  None can ignore it.

Encounter Books is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, a nonprofit group that is substantially supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee.

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