ists on common grounds. For both herenand in Europe, sensitive individuals ofnthe late 19th and early 20th centuries experiencedna malaise, a feeling of overcivilization,na loss of vitality, a spiritual sterilitynand the emptiness of a “weightlessnculture.” It is the expression of thesenmoods that Lears pursues in his study. Henis careful to note the idiomatic qualitiesnof this phenomenon in the UnitednStates. Our antimodernists were all oldstocknAmericans; an overwhelmingnnumber of them had been reared in thenNew England intellectual tradition, andnwith striking consistency each was left tonwrestle with the legacy of a religiousntradition that had grown flat. Indeed,nthe critique of liberal Protestantism, anreligion of sinlessness and faith in an optimismndevoid of tragedy, was a majornvehicle of antimodernism in America.nThe most engaging exponents of antimodernismnturned from this bland religiositynto rediscover the Middle Ages, tonabsorb and reinvigorate the splendor ofnGothic, to immerse themselves in HighnQiurch Anglo-Catholic ceremonialism,nto learn what they could from the heroicnpersonalities of the saints.nUltimately at stake in this process wasnthe quest for authentic experience, antheme Lears develops with much insight.nOthers among the antimodernistsnsought authenticity by encouraging annarts-and-crafts movement. The leadersnin this effort recoiled from leisure-classndilettantism and sought to revive anneroding work ethic by instilling habits ofndiscipline and sobriety into authenticncraftsmanship. By this means also a worknprocess that the machine age had renderednperfunctory and regimentednmight permit to workmen the innovativeneffort enjoyed by the builders of Gothicnchurches and celebrated by Ruskin innThe Stones of Venice. Still others amongnthe antimodernists celebrated martialnideals. Amid fears of a wasting enervationnin modern society, this group posednthe ideal of the strenuous life, athleticsnand outdoor activity, the invigoratingnlife of war and imperialistic adventure.nThese might warm the blood of a civili­nl ^ H I H ^ B M M ^nChronicles of Culturenzation surfeited by commercial habits.nTo some, like Brooks Adams, the martialnvirtues were a veritable surrogate for religion.nThese varieties of antimodernismnproduced a weighty list of characters—nQiarles Eliot Norton, Henry and BrooksnAdams, William James, Oliver WendellnHolmes, Jr., Frank Norris, Ralph AdamsnCram and many others. They emergednfrom the “best” ranks of American societynand they offered the highest academicnand artistic credentials. No drifters onnthe fringe were these.nIJut what is one to make of this phenomenon,ncresting so richly mfin de SteelenAmerica? Lears is determined tonlocate some higher meaning in thesenexperiences that will show how antimodernistndissent actually perpetuatednthe class power of the dissenters. It is anneffort that brings upon him a host ofntroubles. Acknowledging the influencenon his thinking of the Italian neo-MarxistnAntonio Gramsci, Lears is convinced thatndominant social groups maintain theirnpower not through force but throughntheir cultural hegemony. Lears wouldnlike to sympathize fully with these antimodernistsnwho recoiled from a culturenhe detests. But since they failed to transformnAmerican capitalism and bourgeoisndominance, their movement mustnsomehow have been flawed. It was. Learsnargues that antimodernism became fornits subscribers a means for restoring thenfragmented self; it succumbed to selfindulgencenand became a mode ofntherapy. Therapeutic culture, really onlynthe pursuit of thrills, easily prepared then: :'” . • ^ % MojatWy..: ..n’•”. • • • , ‘ ‘ * ‘• ” -.’ . ‘ ‘ ” •• • • • ‘ ; ‘ •n;”‘C^inkA’ii’t'< nJfim- MfioHj^itil-a* ii {>rsatfst H;;JKJM’ OU ‘ >. • •nT •-.n•”,’„• /•>-•’ ‘•• ..V,. ‘•” ‘..””.. •.’ foam^wr’ifJimiif^t •/ ‘nt**lt* ‘ .-*V,nA]^:n.•• <••• : y ^ ^ ^ ^ m ^ ^ – ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ‘ – ‘ : , : ‘ • •n-‘•-.• • –^ ..:- SSi^J^i^^Poll^^ii’.^Viiscik^^^..;’ •„..-•• •.n• . .–‘ * “. . ..”j .j>?^t; >• ., ;•• •’ ••. ,= •• . > * .•nnn