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The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom
of Tradition in an Age of Chaos
Author : Sohrab Ahmari
Publisher : Convergent Books
ISBN : 0593137175
Publication Date : 2021-5-11
Language : eng
Pages : 298
We've pursued and achieved the modern dream of defining ourselves--but at what cost? The New York Post
op-ed editor makes a compelling case for seeking the inherited traditions and ideals that give our lives
meaning.As a young father and a self-proclaimed “radically assimilated immigrant,― opinion editor
Sohrab Ahmari realized that when it comes to shaping his young son's moral fiber, today's America comes
up short. For millennia, the world's great ethical and religious traditions taught that true happiness lies in
pursuing virtue and accepting limits. But now, unbound from these stubborn traditions, we are free to choose
whichever way of life we think is most optimal — or, more often than not, merely the easiest. All that
remains are the fickle desires that a wealthy, technologically advanced society is equipped to fulfill.The
result is a society riven by deep conflict and individual lives that, for all their apparent freedom, are marked
by alienation and stark unhappiness.In response to this crisis, Ahmari offers twelve questions for us to
grapple with — twelve timeless, fundamental queries that challenge our modern certainties. Among them:
Is God reasonable? What is freedom for? What do we owe our parents, our bodies, one another? Exploring
each question through the life and ideas of great thinkers, from Saint Augustine to Howard Thurman and
from Abraham Joshua Heschel to Andrea Dworkin, Ahmari invites us to examine the hidden assumptions
that drive our behavior and, in so doing, to live more humanely in a world that has lost its way.Editorial
Reviews“[The Unbroken Thead] merits attention . . . because Ahmari is a notable combatant in the fight
on the American right for the future of conservatism.―—The New York Times“A scholarly rebuke to
the fashionable currents of our rootless age. . . . Salted with an intellectual breadth and curiosity, expressed
with exceptional clarity.―—The Times (London)“A vital and provocative read. . . . Designed to satisfy
the curiosity of those wondering whether there is more to life than rootless independence, The Unbroken
Thread is an easy read, while still meaty enough to reward those already sympathetic to tradition’s
insights. . . . Studded with little gems of historical and philosophical intrigue.―—The Telegraph
(London)“[Ahmari] is a master storyteller. . . . Readers of Sohrab Ahmari’s new book will be grateful
to him for reminding us of how serious the loss [of our traditions] could turn out to be.―—First
Things“Ahmari provides us — and his son — with examples of lives well-lived, lives that affirm the
necessity, vitality, and authority of particular claims of traditional wisdom. His hostility to liberalism is not
hard to find; the questions he explores are in themselves defiant of the false modesty, agnosticism, and
relativism that saturate our 'liberal' age. And yet even those who reject Ahmari’s categories and
conclusions will still admire and be edified by the stories he has to tell.―—National Review“Ahmari
fans will surely be surprised by his new book, The Unbroken Thread, a triumph of intellectual hagiography
that leads the reader confidently into deep waters.―—Commentary“Ahmari proposes a path out of the
chaos in our culture today, discerning the reasons of the heart and promoting moral excellence. He frames
the questions we all need to ponder and identifies many topics that families and religious leaders need to
address — the sooner, the better.―—The New Criterion“Ahmari’s prose is always clear, and he
manages to articulate sophisticated arguments without ever sounding academic or getting lost in
minutia.―—Washington Examiner“The Unbroken Thread will be of great service to Americans who
have been deprived of their moral and philosophical inheritance by a shallow educational establishment. . . .
Ahmari introduces a generation (and more) to the spiritual patrimony of which they have been robbed. And
he does it in the gentlest way possible, knowing its riches may dazzle eyes that have too long alighted on
only the rusted scrap of utilitarian liberalism.―—Spectator USA“The urgent need for this work cannot
be doubted. For as Ahmari concludes his reflections, the social trends that fill parents like him with unease
also come into sharper focus.―—National Catholic Register“The quality that makes [Ahmari] a
valuable thinker for our current moment is the same one that made him write this book in the way that he
did: his willingness to take risks.―—City Journal“Honestly, if there were another hundred Sohrab
Ahmaris, or even just a dozen, the Church in the US would be transformed. . . . [A] humane and combative
book.―—The Catholic Herald“Intriguing and insightful. . . . The Unbroken Thread is clearly the result
of wide reading and reflection. . . . While Ahmari’s arguments are easy to read, copying and sending
them to your older children is even easier.―—Catholic World Report“Although Ahmari is gentle with
the reader, his aim is daring. He seeks nothing less than to build a city of heroes. . . . [His] verve and punchy
style will make any educated reader rethink or think more about our society’s shaky foundations. Better
yet, it might even make a saint or two.―—The University Bookman“The Unbroken Thread is a most
welcome invitation to take both wisdom and tradition seriously again, to see in tradition an indispensable
vehicle for conveying and sustaining wisdom about the things that truly matter. In that regard, Ahmari’s
very fine book is profoundly countercultural.―—The Public Discourse“The book recalls . . . C.S.
Lewis's Mere Christianity, a guide for the skeptical everyman to the traditionalist's position.―—The
Washington Free Beacon“The Unbroken Thread is simply tradition issuing a series of reminders to
Western liberalism. And yet we’d be remiss if we didn’t attend closely to the conceptual contours
traced by Ahmari’s highly readable book.―—Human Events“The Unbroken Thread is an
achievement in scholarship, journalism, and entertainment. . . . If you’re feeling 'exhausted' or just
looking for refreshment and renewed energy, read The Unbroken Thread.―—The Catholic Thing“Wellwritten, thoughtful and true arguments.―—UnHerd“The Unbroken Thread is persuasive because it is a
father’s working-out of a vision worth imparting to his child. Ahmari’s love for his son is a gateway
to the book’s universal concerns.―—Arc Digital“With The Unbroken Thread, New York Post op-ed
editor Sohrab Ahmari has given us a beautifully written book that makes classical and Christian thought
intelligible, relevant, and attractive to contemporary readers.―—Providence Magazine“Ahmari is
speaking to all of us as the children we are, appealing to our reason, as well as to our eternal selves. He
petitions that part of us that, like children, reaches out to the sky, the universe, the heavens, and pleads for
some glimpse of true meaning. We beggars at the altar of mercy have tried everything we could think of,
have indulged in every kind of fulfillment, prioritized every pursuit, and still none of them can equate to the
glory of God's love.―—The Post Millennial“Ahmari’s eminently readable book is a rediscovery of
time-tested wisdom.―—The Daily Signal“The Unbroken Thread is not a polemic; it is an intellectual
journey told as a series of cozy, fireside chats. . . . It satisfies what the late critic Harold Bloom considered
the reader’s strongest, most authentic motive: 'the search for a difficult pleasure.’ ―—The
Imaginative Conservative“While Ahmari’s new book is certainly well-written, it does not leave
readers feeling comfortable. Instead, it challenges readers, conservative and progressive alike, to examine
not just their opinions but their habits — and those of their civilization. . . . It is both poignant and
edifying.―—The European Conservative“Ahmari deftly blends history, biography, and philosophy to
propose answers to the questions he sets himself.― —SemiduplexAdvance Praise“Sohrab Ahmari offers
more than a vivid and learned defense of traditionalism. With fatherly love, he leads his son—and us—on
a fearless consideration of life’s big questions, taking thinkers of many historical times and
circumstances as interlocutors. Along the way, he recovers truths about the nature and flourishing of the
human person—truths seemingly in danger of being forgotten in our contentious and uncertain
times.―—Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York“Ahmari’s tour de force makes
tradition astonishingly vivid and relevant for the here and now. Only a writer with Ahmari’s intellect, his
audacious commitment to faith and reason, and a journalist’s gift for storytelling could have pulled this
off.― —Rod Dreher, bestselling author of Live Not by Lies and The Benedict Option“A serious—and
seriously readable—book about the deep questions that our shallow age has foolishly tried to
dodge.―—Douglas Murray, bestselling author of The Madness of Crowds and The Strange Death of
Europe“As having a child instantly teaches us, it’s no longer about you. Ahmari uses his personal
experience, but then broadens out to draw on wisdoms of all ages and faiths. He jars us out of our selfieobsessed world with the clear message that commitment to faith, to others, and to humanity is actually the
most liberating existence of all.―—Martha MacCallum, anchor, The Story on Fox News, and author,
Unknown Valor: A Story of Family, Courage, and Sacrifice from Pearl Harbor to Iwo Jima“In this
fascinating book, Sohrab Ahmari eloquently articulates what many American Founders understood and the
French revolutionaries forgot: that faith is essential for freedom to truly flourish, and that we abandon the
wisdom of the past at great peril to our future. Traditional Jews, Christians, and all who care about the future
of the West are in his debt.― —Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, director, Straus Center for Torah and Western
Thought, Yeshiva University“In a time of widespread confusion and uncertainty about the meaning of
life, Sohrab Ahmari makes a strong case for the truth and relevance of traditional values, virtues, and beliefs.
This is a unique and hopeful book that reminds us that the human person is made for great and beautiful
things — far more than the vision of life offered by our society today.―—Most Reverend José H.
Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles“Drawing on the deepest wells of ancient and modern wisdom from
around the world, The Unbroken Thread weaves together essential lessons desperately needed to guide a
new generation into an uncertain future. Written with love as a legacy for his young son, Sohrab Ahmari has
produced a gift for all of us.― —Patrick J. Deneen, professor of political science, University of Notre
Dame, and author of Why Liberalism Failed“Sohrab Ahmari has been thinking for himself since arriving
from Iran as a youth. Paradoxically, he has thought himself back into the heart of our best traditions and has
seen, with striking clarity, that the modern quest for total liberation of the intellect and will is both quixotic
and damaging, individually and collectively. This clever and engaging work is the result; the dozen
questions it asks are fresh, and the answers it gives are powerfully persuasive.― —Adrian Vermeule, Ralph
S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School