Roger Sandall, The Culture Cult: Designer Tribalism And Other Essays.
An amazon.com reader/reviewer takes to task this author's work:
There are many factual inaccuracies throughout this book. Sandall depicts tribal cultures as barbaric and less evolved than civilization which I am sure he, and many of his readers, find very soothing but this adds little to modern debates. This book is a bitter diatribe for people who want to believe in the superiority of Western civilization. Polarising tribal culture and civilization just fuels exaggerated stereotypes and offers no real solutions to how countries with indigenous populations who predated, and were taken advantage of and abused by, colonial settlements (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America....) are to move forward into the future together.
Another reader/reviewer puts it thus:
Roger Sandall ought to have been a forensic pathologist. He brings the same clinical approach , mixed with an acerbic and utterly irreverent humour, to the question of why civilization has ceased to exist. In the world of anthropology there are no crucial experiments let alone falsification of theories. It is a literary jam session fuelled by a cocktail of personal neuroses and narcissism.
He peels back the putrefying flesh from the body of this confused and delusional area of human endeavour to reveal the causes of the putrefaction. Just as animal liberationists hate humans much more than they love animals, so do fully paid up members of the Culture Cult hate civilization. In comedy there is the concept of the internal logic of the joke and once enters the zone of the joke even the most absurd situation makes "sense". The Culture Club perpertually resides with the logic of the joke and will never see outside that construction.
The book will outrage members of the Cult. They will never see yet alone understand. Thanks to Roger Sandall they will never be taken seriously.
The lead blurb below gives another view of same:
The Culture Cult is an acerbic critique of that longing widespread in society today to "retreat from civilization." From Rousseau and the Noble Savage to modern defenders of ethnicity such as Isaiah Berlin and Karl Polanyi, a prominent intellectual tradition has over-romanticized the virtues of tribal life. In contrast, another tradition, represented by Karl Popper, Michael Polanyi, and Ernest Gellner, defends modern values and civil society. The Culture Cult discusses both sides of this divide between "culture" and "civilization," and between "closed" and "open" societies. The romantic insistence on the superiority of the primitive is increasingly grounded in a fictionalized picture of the past-a picture often created with the aid of well-meaning but misguided anthropologists. Such idealizations work to the detriment of the very people they are meant to help, for they isolate minorities from such undeniable benefits of modern society as literacy and health care, and discourage them from participating in modern life. Few will find comfort in The Culture Cult, but many will recognize a valuable criticism of currently popular social politics.
OK, so I really enjoy the book. Still, I'm not done yet, and in that space there can be many things go wrong that could well put me off entirely. If you're familiar with this book or this author, please let me know, good or bad.