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Jon Stewart and Moral Fire

As I have occasion to remark in my new book Moral Fire, moral passion is a phenomenon little glimpsed in public life nowadays, unless you happen to be a devotee of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Typically, moral passion as purveyed by politicians and the “media” is opportunistic and shallow, if not wholly counterfeit. My book celebrates practitioners of moral passion in late 19th century America, when it was more mattered than today. More specifically, I explore four individuals for whom the notion that culture – that is, music, … [Read more...]

In Praise of Moral Fire

My new book Moral Fire is praised in today’s Boston Globe by Jeremy Eichler for its "elegant and warmly sympathetic" portrait of Henry Higginson, who invented, owned, and operated the Boston Symphony. I’m fortunate to have my book reviewed by Jeremy – and Boston is fortunate to be the rare American city with a classical-music press of stature. I visit Boston in early October to give the Elson Lecture at Harvard on rethinking orchestras as purveyors of the humanities – that’s 5:15 pm Tuesday October 9. And the next day, also at Harvard, I … [Read more...]

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