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The City of Words (2007)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0887847633, Paperback)
The end of ethnic nationalism building societies that promote civic nationalism with universally accepted value systems seems eminently sensible. But something is going wrong. In these 2007 Massey Lectures, Alberto Manguel takes a fresh look at the problems that come with creating new societies. Race riots in France, political murder in The Netherlands, bombings in Britain all appear to be symptoms of a multicultural experiment gone awry. Politicians and sociologists are puzzled; why is it so hard for people to live together given the grim alternatives? Is blood still more important than peaceful coexistence? In The City of Words Manguel proposes a different approach: look at what writers have to say maybe books and stories hold secret keys to the human heart, keys that social planners can’t find. With his trademark wit and erudition, Manguel suggests looking on the library shelf marked fiction” for the book titled How to Build a Better Society.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:35 -0400)
"In the 2007 CBC Massey Lectures, author Alberto Manguel takes a fresh look at the rise of violent intolerance in our societies. Many of us agree that the end of ethnic nationalism is a good idea. We strive to build societies that promote civic nationalism, with sets of values all citizens can agree on. But something has gone wrong: race riots in France, political murder in the Netherlands, bombings in Britain - are these symptoms of a multicultural experiment gone awry? Why is it so difficult for us to live together when the alternatives are demonstrably horrifying?" "Alberto Manguel suggests a fresh approach: We should look at what visionaries, poets, novelists, essayists, and filmmakers have to say about building societies. Perhaps the stories we tell hold secret keys to the human heart. From Cassandra to Jack London, the Epic of Gilgamesh to the computer Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Don Quixote to Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, Manguel draws fascinating and revelatory parallels between the personal and political realities of our present-day word and those of myth, legend, and story."
An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.
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