New York: Harcourt Brace, 1949. First edition. Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. About-fine. Item #340
"CULTURE CAN NEVER BE WHOLLY CONSCIOUS--THERE IS ALWAYS MORE TO IT THAN WE ARE CONSCIOUS OF; AND IT CANNOT BE PLANNED BECAUSE IT IS ALSO THE UNCONSCIOUS BACKGROUND OF ALL OUR PLANNING"
First American edition, published in the same year as the first British edition, of Eliot's continued resolve, begun in The Ideal of a Christian Society (1939), to define and defend culture. Eliot's emphasis on the Greek Philosophy, Roman Law, and Hebrew Religion unifying the West, appeared in the aftermath of two successive world wars which had shattered the overarching cultural unity of Europe. "In The Idea of a Christian Society (1939) and Notes towards the Definition of Culture (1948), the most influential poet and critic of his age, the unsparing spectator of the Waste Land of modern culture, took up the defense of the beliefs and customs that nourish civilization." (Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot). Dedicated: "To Philip Mairet/in gratitude and admiration" and with a brief Preface, initialed and dated "T. S. E. /January, 1948." The book consists of: Introduction, I. The Three Senses of "Culture," II. The Class and the Elite, III. Unity and Diversity: The Region, IV. Unity and Diversity: Sect and Cult, V. A Note on Culture and Politics, VI. Notes on Education and Culture: And Conclusion. Appendix: The Unity of European Culture. The appendix prints the text of three radio talks broadcast to Germany in 1946.