The Politics of Iconoclasm and the Modernity of the Nation-State

Written by James Noyes

(I. B. Tauris, 2013)

Reviewed by Adam DeVille



A quarter-century ago now, Alasdair MacIntyre, widely recognized as the most influential moral philosopher of the last half-century, wrote that “no coherent political imagination is any longer possible for those condemned to inhabit, and to think and act in terms of the modernity of the twentieth-century nation-state.” For that nation-state has been created by, and in the image of, the liberalism of the so-called Enlightenment and it has such monopolistic powers that it obviates all alternatives, leading to the “imaginative sterility of the modern state,” which can only be resisted and outwitted through the creation of new local forms of community beyond the state’s reach and imaginative power, a power that is such that it arouses in the hearts and minds of millions the willingness to kill themselves on its behalf, as MacIntyre puts it in a famous passage frequently quoted:  Continue reading


Written by Anna Godbersen

(HarperCollins, 2008)

Reviewed by Amy MacInnis

The Luxe quartet, featuring The LuxeRumorsEnvy and Splendor, is a teen series set in late nineteenth century upper-class New York. It reads like a soap opera, transitioning from chapter to chapter among the perspectives of a handful of main characters (four female and one male). These young characters’ lives are replete with gossip, showiness and drama. Godbersen never fails to detail the décor and fashion (ad nauseum in my opinion; she used the word ‘clavicle’ so many times I literally wanted to gag). The plot is rife with subterfuge, adultery, murder, you name it. Not the most edifying fare from the get-go.  Continue reading