Longtime readers are familiar with the brilliant work of Diana West. She has been a guest-blogger here and I frequently link her trenchant Washington Times columns. Today, her first book debuts: “The Death of the Grown-up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization.” I was delighted to read the manuscript and provide an endorsement. The book is a brilliant diagnosis of our backward baseball cap culture and its intellectual and moral deficiencies, which have profound consequences for a nation at war.
Though I’m not quite yet willing to abandon my Wii, West makes a convincing case that America’s abdication of adulthood (from pop culture to attire to perpetually adolescent gamers) weakens our ability to identify and defend against jihad. Andrew Bostom reviews the book in the WashTimes.
And here’s a taste of the back-cover reviews:
“Diana West’s analysis of American culture and society is filled with sharp insights and critical judgments that are illuminating and provocative. The Death of the Grown-Up delivers an honest perspective on the many forces and pressures challenging 21st century Americans.”
—Lou Dobbs, CNN
“The most intriguing question about American culture today–even more intriguing than, “When and why did men start to hug each other?”–is the question Diana West tackles in this penetrating and witty book: “When and why did Americans decide to stop growing up?” Actually, I have a depressing feeling that the two questions are related.”
—George F. Will
”This is a vigorously argued, far-reaching and timely book which should be read especially by those content to drift along with the noxious tide of fashion.”—Paul Johnson
“Diana West’s brilliant and irreverent skewering of America’s fixation on youth is a wake-up call for every individual who wants to see Western civilization endure. West makes the provocative case that a mass cultural obsession with perpetual adolescence has eliminated adulthood from the human experience, leaving our society effectively undefended as we confront the challenges ahead, especially the menace of Islamofascism.”—Tony Blankley
“With keen wit and unparalleled insight, Diana West traces the national decline of adulthood and the rise of the permanent adolescent class in American life. From James Dean to Elvis to Bill Clinton, from “anything goes” to “whatever,” un-parents have succumbed to the Teen Age. But what makes West’s invaluable analysis stand apart is her connection of the death of the grown-up to the post-9/11 political, intellectual, and moral paralysis that imperils us today. Her impassioned message: We cannot defend our identity if we have no clue about who we were and are and should be. We cannot defend our existence as long as we mollycoddle a generation of self-absorbed brats. West administers an overdue spanking to the cultural relativists: Wise up or we will all pay dearly.”
“This is a brilliant book that devastatingly dissects our politically correct society. In a book that will be read for generations, Diana West has written one of the most important books on our culture, politics and society that I have ever read. Diana has masterfully recognized and explained how certain trends within Western culture have fundamentally altered Western identity and weakened our resolve to combat a fierce enemy, radical Islam. A must read for anyone who wants to understand why, all too often, many in the West are apologetic when confronted with the excesses of radical Islam and what we need to do to win the war on terror. This is a phenomenal book that will truly alter the way you view society. It is masterful.”—Steven Emerson
”Diana West has written a book not to be missed by anyone concerned about the future of America and the West. With wide- ranging scholarship and a lucid and sprightly prose style, she chronicles and analyzes the unprecedented transfer of cultural authority from adults to teenagers. The unhappy consequences range from the obliteration of traditional standards in almost all areas of life to a multicultural relativism that lowers our defenses against elements of a civilization that would destroy us. West has mounted a much-needed counterattack in the service of Western values and common sense.”—Judge Robert Bork