Foreword by Dr. Anthony Esolen.
Almost nothing lasts. Books and films that are wildly popular this year are forgotten by next year. Thrift stores across the country are full of clothes and compact discs that were highly sought-after just last December. The sort of ideas about race and gender that were thought sophisticated one generation ago are now regarded as primitive and crass.
Our society has a cultural metabolism which moves at a breakneck speed.
Much of our lives are given to things that are not worth a second look, second read, or second listen. This constant exposure to mediocrity is robbing us of the ability to listen deeply, think deeply, and love deeply.
Some things do last, though. Two hundred years later, we are still listening to Beethoven. Three hundred years later, we are still traveling great distances to stand before the works of Rembrandt. Sixteen hundred years later, we are still reading Augustine. Why have these things lasted? What happens to people who love things that last? What becomes of people who never learn to love anything deeply?
In Love What Lasts, Joshua Gibbs offers readers a wide-angle view of contemporary culture, explains how we got here, and invites readers to reconsider the role which old books, old music, and old films might play in their lives and lives of their families. In a society which is helplessly addicted to the next big thing, loving things which last is real deliverance.
Love What Lasts is a contemporary book about books and artifacts that are trans-temporal. Even if Josh Gibbs is forgotten in a hundred years, the ideas of this timely book will not be, since it is a good book about what is timeless. The book comes to the reader in the imperative mood (Love!), and learning to love the lovely is at the heart of anything that can rightly be called education. I respond with an imperative of my own—read this book. – Dr. Christopher Perrin, CEO of Classical Academic Press
It’s been years since I’ve read a book I immediately started again as soon as I finished it. Love What Lasts is a book that encapsulates what I most want for my children, for myself, and for my culture, and Joshua Gibbs is the writer up to the task of distilling in digestible paragraphs what needs saying. My high schooler took it from me and read it in between his studies, and our conversations about everything from why the French Revolution changed everything to why good taste in movies is an issue of ethics have been richer because of the ideas found in between these covers. I can’t stop recommending this book to friends and colleagues as on par with The Abolition of Man in explaining why our post-modern culture is the way it is. Read, and prepare to change your perspective on what matters most. – Tsh Oxenreider, publisher of The Commonplace newsletter and author of At Home in the World and Shadow & Light
The moral chaos of the last fifty years are . . . overwhelmingly the product of a culture that has not only lost touch with the past, but lost the power to discern what is permanent from what is perishing . . . When books, sculptures, paintings, pieces of music, and the like endure through centuries, this is not arbitrary; it is because they give us a genuine window into truth, goodness, and beauty that we shutter at our peril. – Jeremy Tate, CEO of Classic Learning Test