Critical Questions

This collection of writings allows the reader a rare opportunity to see Barzun's lively, engaging, rich, and original mind at work on several strategic areas of cultural inquiry: music and the musical life, esthetics, biography, criticism, and social commentary. Barzun makes use of a variety of contexts as a forum for evidence and opinion, including essays, program notes, letters, and reviews. And he approaches a wide variety of particular and...

Continue reading

The House of Intellect

In this international bestseller, originally published in 1959, Jacques Barzun, acclaimed author of From Dawn to Decadence, takes on the whole intellectual -- or pseudo-intellectual -- world, attacking it for its betrayal of Intellect. "Intellect is despised and neglected," Barzun says, "yet intellectuals are well paid and riding high." He details this great betrayal in such areas as public administrations, communications, conversation and home...

Continue reading

The Delights of Detection

World famous historian Jacques Barzun (From Dawn to Decadence, 2000) is also an ardent devotee of traditional mysteries.He brings his excellent taste and knowledge of the genre to the selection of the material here, and also contributes an insightful (if opinionated :-)) introduction, "Detection and the Literary Art."The main blocs of material are the chronologically arranged 20th-century stories, which he divides into "Classic Tales"...

Continue reading

Simple and Direct

After a lifetime of writing and editing prose, Jacques Barzun has set down his view of the best ways to improve one's style. His discussions of diction, syntax, tone, meaning, composition, and revision guide the reader through the technique of making the written word clear and agreeable to read. Exercises, model passages both literary and casual, and hundreds of amusing examples of usage gone wrong show how to choose the right path to...

Continue reading

Scholarship Today

Three papers from a symposium sponsored by the Council of Scholars, held at the Library of Congress, April 17-19, 1986.

Continue reading