Quotations From CHRISTOPHER LASCH


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  • Information, usually seen as the precondition of debate, is better understood as its by-product.
    Christopher Lasch (b. 1932), U.S. historian. repr. in Harper's (Sept. 1990). "The Lost Art of Political Argument," first published as "Journalism, Publicity, and the Lost Art of Political Argument," in Gannett Center Journal (Spring 1990).
  • Knowledge is what we get when an observer, preferably a scientifically trained observer, provides us with a copy of reality that we can all recognize.
    Christopher Lasch (b. 1932), U.S. historian. repr. in Harper's (New York, Sept. 1990). "The Lost Art of Political Argument," first published as "Journalism, Publicity, and the Lost Art of Political Argument," in Gannett Center Journal (New York, Spring 1990).
  • Today Americans are overcome not by the sense of endless possibility but by the banality of the social order they have erected against it.
    Christopher Lasch (b. 1932), U.S. historian. "The Therapeutic Sensibility," ch. 1, The Culture of Narcissism (1979).

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  • A society that has made "nostalgia" a marketable commodity on the cultural exchange quickly repudiates the suggestion that life in the past was in any important way better than life today.
    Christopher Lasch (b. 1932), U.S. historian. The Culture of Narcissism, preface (1979).

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  • Every age develops its own peculiar forms of pathology, which express in exaggerated form its underlying character structure.
    Christopher Lasch (b. 1932), U.S. historian. "Social Influences on Narcissism," ch. 2, The Culture of Narcissism (1979).
  • The job of the press is to encourage debate, not to supply the public with information.
    Christopher Lasch (b. 1932), U.S. historian. repr. As "The Lost Art of Political Argument," in Harper's (New York, September 1990). "Journalism, Publicity, and the Lost Art of Political Argument," Gannett Center Journal (New York, Spring 1990).
  • It is a tribute to the peculiar horror of contemporary life that it makes the worst features of earlier times—the stupefaction of the masses, the obsessed and driven lives of the bourgeoisie—seem attractive by comparison.
    Christopher Lasch (b. 1932), U.S. historian. "No Exit," ch. 4, The Culture of Narcissism (1979).

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