For Common Things: Irony, Trust And Commitment In America Today
For Common Things: Irony, Trust and Commitment in America Today
Jedediah Purdy calls For Common Things his "letter of love for the world's possibilities." Indeed, these pages--which garnered a flurry of attention among readers and in the media--constitute a passionate and persuasive testament to the value of political, social, and community reengagement. Drawing on a wide range of literary and cultural influences--from the writings of Montaigne and Thoreau to the recent popularity of empty entertainment and breathless chroniclers of the technological age--Purdy raises potent questions about our stewardship of civic values.
Most important, Purdy offers us an engaging, honest, and bracing reminder of what is crucial to the healing and betterment of society, and impels us to consider all that we hold in common.
Jedediah Purdy is only in his mid-20s, but there are times when, working your way through Purdy's precisely crafted sentences, you would swear that the author is an old man. The problem with the world today, Purdy says, is that too many of us have withdrawn from it. "Often it begins in ironic avoidance," he writes, "the studied refusal to trust or hope openly. Elsewhere it comes from reckless credulity, the embrace...