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Existential America

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  32 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Europe's leading existential thinkers—Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Albert Camus—all felt that Americans were too self-confident and shallow to accept their philosophy of responsibility, choice, and the absurd. "There is no pessimism in America regarding human nature and social organization," Sartre remarked in 1950, while Beauvoir wrote that Americans had no " ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 25th 2005 by Johns Hopkins University Press (first published December 23rd 2002)
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Dave
May 30, 2013 Dave rated it really liked it
existential america is a history of ideas book. i had heard about such studies and i recognized their usefulness but i don't think i have ever read one. i loved this book. i loved the brevity of the discussions. i feel they are accurate and i can use them as a guide to broadening my understanding of the existential viewpoints i make use of in my life.
i have a strong sense of revolution being grounded in thought and not life; i opt for a more organic recipe for social change. i had no idea camu
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Seth
Aug 02, 2010 Seth rated it really liked it
Cotkin's history of American existentialism is well written and researched from a concept of personal knowledge meeting academic framework. Cotkin demonstrates that existentialism thrives in America because of its via media value between traditionalism and radical postmodernism. According to Cotkin, existentialism is found everywhere from religion to modern film. He references existentialism as a way to critically understand the human condition in late modernity. Good read.
Seri
Oct 04, 2007 Seri rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Norman Mailer
An excellent cultural history on existentialism in America. Existentialism was misunderstood by many in America but had a great impact on my others - in areas ranging from Prostestant theology to film noir. Definitely a must-read for anyone interested in existentialism.
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