Ross Douthat

Books &

Columnist Ross Douthat on his latest book, Crosscut Festival and more

After a year of societal change, adapting to use technology in countless new ways in our daily lives and the rapid creation of a COVID vaccine, Douthat revisited the idea of decadence and released an updated version of the book in the paperback edition, with a new title, The Decadent Society: America Before and After the Pandemic. Douthat took the time to chat with Crosscut about this paperback release ahead of his upcoming conversation at the Crosscut Festival.
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Ross Douthat on Substack on decadence

Meanwhile in the non-ideological regions of the culture the deepening of decadence seems assured. The pandemic has (further) weakened every cultural institution that relies on physical presence, spontaneity and localized or mid-sized audiences, which means basically all of them except the “content” industry, the ever-expanding realm of Peak TV. The spirit of Mustapha Mond presides over the Covid era: He waved his hand; and it was as though, with an invisible feather wisk, he had brushed away a little dust, and the dust was museums, was symphonies; some spider-webs, and they were ballets and bookstores and Broadway theatricals. Whisk. Whisk—and where was the mid-size daily newspaper, the regional university, the local Protestant congregation, the urban Catholic school. Whisk—the place where the local movie theater had been empty. Whisk, the touring pop music acts, whisk, the minor league baseball teams, whisk, whisk ..
San Francisco, CASalt Lake Tribune

Ross Douthat: The pandemic’s gift to radicalism

This past week, the San Francisco School Board of Education voted 6-1 to proceed with a plan to rename 44 of the city’s currently shuttered schools, wiping away notables like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Paul Revere, Robert Louis Stevenson and even Dianne Feinstein, California’s senior senator, for various forms of cooperation with white supremacy and patriarchy.