Culture and Anarchy
‘The men of culture are the true apostles of equality.’
Matthew Arnold’s famous series of essays, which were first published in book form under the title Culture and Anarchy in 1869, debate important questions about the nature of culture and society that are as relevant now as they have ever been. Arnold seeks to find out ‘what culture really is, what good it can do, what is our own special need of it’ in an age of rapid social change and increasing mechanization. He contrasts culture, ‘the study of perfection’, with anarchy, the mood of unrest and uncertainty that pervaded mid-Victorian England. How can individuals be educated, not indoctrinated, and what is the role of the state in disseminating ‘sweetness and light’?
This edition reproduces the original book version and enables readers to appreciate its immediate historical context as well as the reasons for its continued importance today, in the face of the challenges of multi-culturalism and post-modernism.