Cultural Amnesia is a book of biographical essays by Clive James, first published in 2007. Clive James is an unusual beast: a comic public intellettuale.

This international bestseller is an encyclopedic A-Z masterpiece―the perfect introduction to the very core of Western humanism. Each chapter is not so much a biography of the character in its title as a catchall for the fertile associations the author brings to the name.  In this book, the author means to present seriously the lives and ideas that 21st-century students ought to know about as they set out to educate themselves

Clive James rescues, or occasionally destroys, the careers of many of the greatest thinkers, humanists, musicians, artists, and philosophers of the twentieth century. Soaring to Montaigne-like heights, Cultural Amnesia is precisely the book to burnish these memories of a Western civilization that James fears is nearly lost.

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