Masscult and Midcult: Essays Against the American Grain

Masscult and Midcult: Essays Against the American Grain

ISBN: 159017447X

ISBN 13: 9781590174470

Publication Date: October 11, 2011

Publisher: NYRB Classics

Pages: 289

Format: Paperback

Authors: Dwight Macdonald, John Summers, Louis Menand

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A New York Review Books Original

An uncompromising contrarian, a passionate polemicist, a man of quick wit and wide learning, an anarchist, a pacifist, and a virtuoso of the slashing phrase, Dwight Macdonald was an indefatigable and indomitable critic of America’s susceptibility to well-meaning cultural fakery: all those estimable, eminent, prizewinning works of art that are said to be good and good for you and are not. He dubbed this phenomenon “Midcult” and he attacked it not only on aesthetic but on political grounds. Midcult rendered people complacent and compliant, secure in their common stupidity but neither happy nor free.

This new selection of Macdonald’s finest essays, assembled by John Summers, the editor of The Baffler, reintroduces a remarkable American critic and writer. In the era of smart, sexy, and everything indie, Macdonald remains as pertinent and challenging as ever.

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