New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 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 of Eliot's continued resolve, begun in The Ideal of a Christian Society (1939), to define and defend culture. Eliot's examination of the Hebrew Religion, Greek Philosophy, and Roman Law unifying the West appeared in the aftermath of two successive world wars which had shattered the overarching cultural cohesion of European Christendom. "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. One of 7500 copies published in March 1949. Gallup, T.S. Eliot: A Bibliography, A51.