[This review was published in the May 1990 issue of Universitas, the national newsletter of University Professors for Academic Order.]


Book Review


A World Without Heroes: The Modern Tragedy

George Roche

Hillsdale: Hillsdale College Press, 1987


Reviewed by Dwight D. Murphey


            With this book, UPAO’s George Roche contributes eloquently and insightfully to the large and growing literature that, in the tradition of Richard Weaver and Eric Voegelin, articulates a Christian critique of the modern predicament.  Russell Kirk, whom we also claim with pride in UPAO, adds his own commendation in the Foreword. 

            Although other passages more directly state the book’s central theme, the following illustrates the delights that await the reader: 

            We have spent the whole of this century attacking human afflictions and social problems with the finest tools the human mind can devise.  We have applied the most enlightened theories, state-of-the-art science and advanced statecraft… Every source of discontent and injustice has been reformed to a fare-thee-well, and at no niggardly expense.  Our politicians openly beg for any new or original misfortune to overcome… These problems are trotted out every years, faithfully, and new bureaus are created to take care of them, differing from the previous bureaus as one zebra differs from another.  What more can be done?  The historical record is sketchy, but I can only describe this as the greatest outpouring of caring, compassion and concern the world has ever seen.  Its principal result is to make everybody cynical about politics, along with everything else.  It leaves us unhappier than ever, and a good deal poorer.

            Now that summer’s almost here, curl up out on the porch and let yourself be rewarded by many pages containing similar nuggets.