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Authority and Freedom

From one of our most widely admired art critics comes a bold and timely manifesto reaffirming the independence of all the arts—musical, literary, and visual—and their unique and unparalleled power to excite, disturb, and inspire us.

As people look to the arts to promote a particular ideology, whether radical, liberal, or conservative, Jed Perl argues that the arts have their own laws and logic, which transcend the controversies of any one moment. “Art’s relevance,” he writes, “has everything to do with what many regard as its irrelevance.” Authority and Freedom will find readers from college classrooms to foundation board meetings—wherever the arts are confronting social, political, and economic ferment and heated debates about political correctness and cancel culture. Hardcover, 176 pages.

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