Why English books are crummy.

Arts, entertainment, and more.
March 7 2003 2:24 PM

Bargain-Basement Literature

Why are English books made so badly?

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English literature may be the world's single greatest cultural inheritance. Not everyone would rank Shakespeare and English literature above, say, Beethoven and German music, or Plato and Greek philosophy, or Raphael and Italian painting, but most book lovers would. (I would.) What does it say that the English themselves now care less than any Western people how well their books are made? Probably something bad about England—and probably something bad about the West.

Christopher Caldwell is a senior editor at the Weekly Standard. His book Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West will be published in the United States in July.