1st Edition

Barbarians in the Saddle Intellectual Biography of Richard M. Weaver

By John McHale, Joseph A. Scotchie Copyright 1997
    161 Pages
    by Routledge

    161 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Richard M. Weaver was one of the founders of modern conservatism and an enduring intellectual figure of twentieth-century America. He was dedicated to examining the dual nature of human beings and the quest for civilized communities in a corrupted age that believed in the religion of science and in the "natural goodness" of man. Weaver's Ideas Have Consequences sowed the seeds for the traditionalist wing of modern American conservatism. On the brink of the twenty-first century, the triumph of science and technology looms larger than ever. Weaver's prophetic writings on post-World War II Western decline and his visionary talents, however bleak, can easily extend into many facets of modern life: high divorce rates, a declining standard of living, the dehumanizing aspects of a corporate economy, and the destruction of civil communities.

    Barbarians in the Saddle is Joseph Scotchie's intellectual biography of Richard M. Weaver. It is an in-depth study of each of Weaver's published works and an examination of the significant influence he had on the formation of conservative America. Ideas Have Consequences and Visions of Order examine the problem of life in "megalopolis" where the best of everything is promised to the restless masses by their leaders and a cradle-to-grave social security state results in dangerous levels of decadence, resentment, and the loss of civility and culture. In The Southern Tradition at Bay and other essays on the American South, Weaver expresses his preference for the nonmaterialistic, virtuous ethos of the Old South. Finally, The Ethics of Rhetoric highlights Weaver's devotion to a discipline increasingly out of favor with academia.

    Thirty years after his untimely death, Richard Weaver remains a heroic figure to many concerned about the state of American culture and its alienated, rootless conditions. Now a new generation of leaders can understand the importance of this pioneer of thought. Barbarians in the Saddle will be of significant value to political theorists, philosophers, and students of American civilization.

    Introduction: A Man Out of Step 1. Philosopher from Dixie 2. An Aristocracy of Achievement: The Southern Tradition at Bay 3. Man in Megalopolis: Ideas Have Consequences 4. State Worship: The Ethics of Rhetoric, Language Is Sermonic 5. The Conservative’s Sage: Life Without Prejudice 6. The Nation’s Stepchild: The Southern Essays of Richard M. Weaver 7. Barbarians in the Saddle: Visions of Order 8. Conclusion


    Joseph Scotchie has spent the last thirty years working in journalism as well as teaching. Currently he is an editor for Anton Community Newspaper in Mineola, New York. His writings have appeared in numerous journals, including Chronicles, Modern Age, The American Conservative, and The Thomas Wolfe Review. In addition his books include Barbarians at the Saddle, Thomas Wolfe Revisited, and Street Corner Conservative: Patrick J. Buchanan and His Times.