T. J. Jackson Lears draws on a wealth of primary sources — sermons, diaries, letters — as well as novels, poems, and essays to explore the origins of turn-of-the-century American antimodernism. He examines the retreat to the exotic, the pursuit of intense physical or spiritual experiences, and the search for cultural self-sufficiency through the Arts and Crafts movement. Lears argues that their antimodern impulse, more pervasive than historians have supposed, was not "simple escapism," but reveals some enduring and recurring tensions in American culture.
"It's an understatement to call No Place of Grace a brilliant book. . . . It's the first clear sign I've seen that my generation, after marching through the '60s and jogging through the '70s might be pausing to examine what we've learned, and to teach it."—Walter Kendrick, Village Voice
"One can justly make the claim that No Place of Grace restores and reinterprets a crucial part of American history. Lears's method is impeccable."—Ann Douglas, The Nation
One can justly make the claim that No Place of Grace restores and reinterprets a crucial part of American history. Lears's method is impeccable.