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Ideas Have Consequences  By  cover art

Ideas Have Consequences

By: Richard M. Weaver,Roger Kimball - foreword,Ted J. Smith III - afterword,Derek Perkins
Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1948, at the height of post-World War II optimism and confidence in collective security, Ideas Have Consequences uses "words hard as cannonballs" to present an unsparing diagnosis of the ills of the modern age. The book is now seen as one of the foundational texts of the modern conservative movement.

In it, Richard M. Weaver argues that the decline of Western civilization resulted from the rising acceptance of relativism over absolute reality. In spite of increased knowledge, this retreat from the realist intellectual tradition has weakened the Western capacity to reason, with catastrophic consequences for social order and individual rights. But Weaver also offers a realistic remedy. These difficulties are the product not of necessity, but of intelligent choice. And, today, as decades ago, the remedy lies in the renewed acceptance of absolute reality and the recognition that ideas - like actions - have consequences. This expanded edition of the classic work contains a foreword by New Criterion editor Roger Kimball that offers insight into the rich intellectual and historical contexts of Weaver and his work, and an afterword by Ted J. Smith III that relates the remarkable story of the book's writing and publication.

©1948, 2013 The University of Chicago. Foreword copyright 2013 by Roger Kimball. (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Ideas Have Consequences

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A Prophetic Work

Weaver was, if nothing else, a prophet. His assessment of society is becoming more and more accurate in America. I also hearitly agree with his stance on private property and a loss of piety. Excellent work and a must read!

6 people found this helpful

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Awful main narrator. Writing style is dull.

Struggled a bit to finish it due to the awful narrator. The forward and ending narration was much better. The book was hard to follow at times. I was still able to get something out of it.

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Must-read book to understand West's decline

The narration is good but it may be a coincidence that the narrator chosen for critique is better than the one for actually narrating the book. In any case, this book highlights that destroying "structures" in a society comes at a cost.

3 people found this helpful

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A Glimpse Into the Future by Stepping Back in Time

My first thought upon completing this novel was, I must read it again. There is just so much here. There are moments that one can scarcely believe that this book was published in 1948. It’s like taking a journey into the future by going back in time. In that regards you must continually shift your reference remembering when Weaver wrote this book and what was the world stage upon which he looked.

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Worldview Expressing

The author is able to verbalize the worldview one has but cannot express. It is a classic for good reason.

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Says almost nothing

I wish I had not bought this book.

It’s medieval nihilism, garnished with the occasionally accurate cultural critique.

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thoroughly enjoyed, great thinker

It was amazing to see a well educated person express my own less eloquent thoughts about society, especially soong after it was written, only echoing what we said would happen.

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Still Viable

Ideas have Consequences surprised me in how viable it still is as of my reading (August 2022). While it wasn't what I expected I nevertheless enjoyed it and found it engaging.

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Failure in so many ways

Being a liberal you would expect a review like mine. However he got so many things wrong, I can’t see how anyone would benefit from his diatribe. That said there were three things I did kind of agree with him on. Environmental destruction, capitalism’s degradations, and the slaughter of total war.

The problem is much of it was associated with the Southern Plantation life. Although the South exploited people and ruined the land with exclusive cotton planting, The total war was probably more about that racist slaver southerners lost. He was very dismissive of anyone but scholarly White men.

He said women shouldn’t get jobs, yet his mom got a job when his father died and put him through college. He lived with his mom, likely was an Incel misogynist. He hated women who thought they should have equal rights. What a sad and curmudgeon individual.

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Fascinating subject matter, but not good in a car

I listen on my commute, and the performance for this title faded in and out such that I missed enough parts along the way that I will need to re listen in a more quiet environment.