The Reign of Ideology
In The Reign of Ideology Goodheart presents a powerful, tenacious critique of the prevailing fixation on ideology in literary theory. Exposing the debilitating effects of much "ideology critique" -which seeks to reveal the effects of power, privilege, and interest underlying critical approaches to works of art- whether practiced by feminists, neo-Marxists, Foucauldians, New Historicists, or post-colonialists, he argues for a new kind of criticism that will reintroduce the pleasures of literature.Goodheart cedes nothing to the alarmist conservative or neo-conservative positions. He offers instead a genre of criticism that is neither purely aesthetic nor deterministic, but one opposed to all forms of dogma: "Genuine thinking is an activity against the grain of ideological formulas that petrify the mind," he writes.With chapters on the New York intellectuals, Kenneth Burke, Primo Levi and Jean Amry, and Richard Rorty, Goodheart appreciates a wide variety of writing. The Reign of Ideology will speak to historians, sociologists, political theorists, and thos interested in cultural studies.