ON-Lion Letter

In the aftermath of World War II, America stood alone as the world's premier military power.  Yet its martial confidence contrasted vividly with its sense of cultural inferiority.  Still looking to a defeated and dispirited Europe for intellectual and artistic guidance, burgeoning trans-national elite in New York and Washington embraced not only the war's refugees, but many of their ideas as well, and nothing has proven more pernicious than those of the Frankfurt School and its reactionary philosophy of "critical theory."

Michael Walsh's The Devil's Pleasure Palace:  The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of America, forthcoming from Encounter Books, looks at the ways Critical Theory took root in America and, once established and gestated, has affected nearly every aspect of American life and society -- and what can be done to stop it.

Walsh is a New York Post columnist and a contributor to National Review and PJ Media.  He is a former associate editor of Time magazine.

At once overly intellectualized and emotionally juvenile, Critical Theory -- like Pandora's Box -- released a horde of demons into the American psyche, as Walsh describes.  When everything could be questioned, nothing could be real, and the muscular, confident empiricism that had just won the war gave way, in less than a generation, to a central-European nihilism celebrated on college campuses across the United States. 

Seizing the high ground of academe and the arts, the New Nihilists set about dissolving the bedrock of the country, from patriotism to marriage to the family to military service.  They have sown -- as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, once wrote of the Devil -- "destruction, division, hatred, and calumny," and all disguised as the search for truth.

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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