By Morris Berman
Neurotic Beauty is a remarkable reevaluation of Japan’s role in the modern world.
It includes a new assessment of the events leading up to the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima, and of the potential role of Japanese philosophy in creating a dynamic approach to human nature and our understanding of reality.
The book also shows the interrelatedness of various facets of Japanese history and society, including psychological orientation, pop culture, and Japan’s vibrant craft tradition.
Finally, it concludes with a possible prediction, that whereas the United States will not be able to escape from its neoliberal economic categories and its commitment to a self-defeating philosophy of “growth,” Japan might surprise us, and turn out to be the frontrunner in the development of post-capitalist alternatives in the 21st century.
Written in a personal and accessible style, the book is likely to provide a focus for debate about issues of economy, ecology, and sustainability for years to come.
"The history of Japan deserves our attention, since we had so much to do with it after the fateful morning in 1853 when Commodore Perry’s 'black ships' sailed into Tokyo Bay. Japan was thrust into modernity by us overnight, and suffered greatly as a result. They may be the first nation to opt out of it as the techno-industrial era winds down. Morris Berman does more than anyone to illuminate the arc of this story and the attendent mysteries of Japanese culture, with all its artistry, resilience, and periodic craziness."
-James Howard Kunstler
About the Author
Morris Berman is a poet, novelist, essayist, social critic, and cultural historian. He has written thirteen books and more than 150 articles, and has taught at a number of universities in Europe, North America, and Mexico. He won the Governor’s Writers Award for Washington State in 1990, and was the first recipient of the annual Rollo May Center Grant for Humanistic Studies in 1992. In 2000, The Twilight of American Culture was named a “Notable Book” by the New York Times Book Review, and in 2013 he received the Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity from the Media Ecology Association. Dr. Berman lives in Mexico.