Life Under Compulsion
Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child
Welcome to Life Under Compulsion
How do you raise a child who can sit with a good book and read? Who is moved by beauty? Who doesn't have to buy the latest this or that vanity? Who is not bound to the instant urge, wherever it may be found?
As a parent, you've probably asked these questions. And now Anthony Esolen provides the answers in this wise new book, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child.
Although freedom has become a byword of our age, Esolen reveals that our children are anything but free. In fact, they are becoming slaves to compulsions. Some compulsions come from without: government mandates that determine what children are taught, how they are taught, and even what they can eat in school. Others come from within: the itches that must be scratched, the passions by which children (like the rest of us) can be mastered.
Common Core, smartphones, video games, sex ed, travel teams, Twitter, politicians, popular music, advertising, a world with more genders than there are flavors of ice cream—these and many other aspects of contemporary life come under Esolen's sweeping gaze in Life Under Compulsion.
This elegantly written book restores lost wisdom about education, parenting, literature, music, art, philosophy, and leisure. Esolen shows why the common understanding of freedom—as a permission slip to do as you please—is narrow, misleading . . . and dangerous. He draws on great thinkers of the Western tradition, from Aristotle and Cicero to Dante and Shakespeare to John Adams and C. S. Lewis, to remind us what human freedom truly means.
Life Under Compulsion also restates the importance of concepts so often dismissed today: truth, beauty, goodness, love, faith, and virtue. But above all else, it reminds us of a fundamental truth: that a child is a human being.
Countercultural in the best sense of the term, Life Under Compulsion is an indispensable guide for any parent who wants to help a child remove the shackles and enjoy a truly free, and full, life.
Published: May, 2015
"Esolen shows how under the spell of that conjuring word freedom we wrap children in cords of bondage. His Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child was a wonderful book; this is a profound one." —J. Budziszewski, University of Texas, author of On the Meaning of Sex "Life Under Compulsion is for anyone who wants to understand how thoroughly our contemporary culture has weakened and warped our fundamental humanity. This is at once a deeply entertaining and a seriously impressive book. Dare to approach it with an open mind, and you will not put it down unchanged." —CatholicCulture.org
Praise for Anthony Esolen's Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child "Esolen signals with this book his presence in the top rank of authors of cultural criticism, following in the footsteps of Richard Weaver, Walker Percy, Russell Kirk, John
"Witty, provocative, and insightful. Parents will feel empowered and encouraged by Esolen's uncommon sense." —Michael Medved, nationally syndicated talk radio host "This book made me want to jump up (very high) and cheer, or run around (very far) and
"The book is full of gems. . . . Esolen's case for the human imagination is extraordinarily important." —Catholic Culture "Nonstop wit, energetic writing, fresh insight, and abundant wisdom about how to shape a good life for your children, and maybe e
"A lament for what we have lost and are losing: honor, humility, noneroticized love, truth, and faith." —Conversations on Philanthropy "This book is essential reading for parents, educators, and anyone who is concerned to rescue children from the tedi