Culturism aims at consilience, that is the unity of the sciences and humanities (see the summary of the book 'Consilience' below).  As such, not all books fit neatly into categories. Search widely. Enjoy!

Back Home


Darwin's Bridge, a collection edited by Joseph Carroll, aims at a consilience, a uniting of science and the humanities. That is why this book, which emphasizes Literary Darwinism, is included under Natural Science.  The collection includes gems. 

Henrich's 'The Secret of Our Success: How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating our Species and Making Us Smarter' puts culture at the center of our evolution.  It is a long summary, but worth every page.  Culturists must master cultural sciences.

Jim Penman's "Biohistory" is epic.  Building on r/K theory, it uses biology to understand the rise and fall of nations.  It explains the use of religions as C promoters (productive values) ties their acceptance to maternal calorie reduction and more.  The original is 600-pages.  My summary is 87. But, dedicated culturists MUST brave one or the other. 

"The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics: How Conservatism and Liberalism Evolved Within Humans," by Anonymous Conservative, is one of the greatest books ever.  If true, it successfully ties ideology to biology.  And, the results are pro-conservative!

"Socio-biological Implications of Confucianism" by Guangdan Pan is a collection of Chinese sociobiological essays from the 1920s and 1930s.  Particularly good is it's comparisons of Christianity and Confucianism from a sociobiological point of view.  It also looks at gender, marriage, race, birth control and other important issues of culturist significance. 

"Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others," by David Sloan Wilson argues for group selection.  This is a cornerstone of culturism.

Joan Chiao is the queen of Cultural Neuroscience.  So enjoy her edited reader on Cultural Neuroscience, imaginatively entitled "Cultural Neuroscience."  Humanity's neural wiring is bent by culture.  In fact, so much that the neuroscience of humans needs to be replaced by 'cultural neuroscience."

"Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language," by Robin Dunbar, is the best explanation of the origins of language.  It allows us to have reputations and thus larger group sizes than grooming did.  This is a classic in the field for sure. 

"The Darwinian Heritage and Sociobiology" is a thought provoking collection of essays with serious culturist implications.

E. O. Wilson's "Consilience" tries to unify all academic disciplines by uniting social sciences and science.  Culturism shares this goal. 

"Not by Genes Alone" shows that culture was a driving force, on par with genes, in creating the human.

"The Lucifer Principle" describes how biology explains the existence, policy, and proliferation of societies and cultures. It is one of the most ingeneous books I have read.

"The Cellular Basis of Behavior" is a college neuroscience reader from Yale.

I present the highlights of "The Evolution of Culture in Animals" to further stimulate your bio-mind!

Lakoff and Johnson's books finally explain the root of thought."Metaphors We Live By" is an enormously fabulous book.


David Sloan Wilson is great!  His book, "Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and The Nature of Society," helps us achieve consilience. 

Edward Bernays' 1928 book 'Propaganda', gives insight into techniques for leading public opinion.

Gustave Le Bon's 1895 "The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind" is as cutting edge today as anything in the field of culturist psychology.  

"Cultural Evolution"is a reader (edited by Richerson and Chrstiansen) that looks at the culture-gene co-evolution in the structure of human groups; technology and science; Language; and Religion.  Yes! Genetic changes create and facilitate changes in these areas reading about it we see what is natural and where we should be heading!

Read Buss' college textbook, "Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of Mind."  The aggression and social dominance chapters are very culturist.  Then again all of it is.  Fully getting culturism means understanding evolutionary psychology. 

Judith Rich Harris' "The Nurture Assumption" presents a whole new way to look at cultural transmission and child psychology.

This 'point to point' highlight summary of Robert Putnam's amazing and important "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community" should inspire you to buy it!

"The Moral Animal" is reaaally good. It teaches evolutionary psychology via a biography of Darwin.

Twitchell's "Shame" decries the death of shame. It documents the importance of shame to culture and how we lost it.

"Social Mindscapes" is a corrective that every neuroscientist and neuroscience fan should be made to read. Eviatar Zerubavel's clever book reminds us of how much of our world view is in our world.

"Sociology and Scientism" is by Richard Bannister. It tells us how we have fetishized science and used it to pervert the way we do social sciences.


Paul Elmer More's "The Christ of the New Testament" bases its devotion to Christ on his and our dual nature. He shows congruity and difference from Plato. More is the best of the Neo-Arnoldian 'New Humanist" movement. 

In 'St. Paul and Protestantism' the first 'Culturist' Matthew Arnold argues Puritans need to leave dogma and join the Church of England for the benefits of cultural unity.

In the 1877 'Last Essays on Church and Religion' Matthew Arnold looks at the Church of England, burial laws and other culturist consideration.

Matthew Arnold's 1883 version of "Literature and Dogma" argues we must conceive of the Bible as literature to guide our culture.  It has strong Literary Darwinist overtones. He'd want this gem in the art section. 

"God and the Bible" is a follow-up to 'Literature and Dogma.' It follows up the literary criticism angle of the previous book, and investigates Literary Darwinism. 

apRobert's masterful book, 'Arnold and God,' links Matthew Arnold to German philosophers.  They, and he, tie self-development (bildung) to wider cultural development. 

The classic!!! "Varieties of Religious Experiences" by William James combines rational scientific pragmatism and heavy spirituality. It's a how to be spiritual book for atheists.

Savarkar's 1923 "Hindutva: Who is a Hindu" made Hedgewar start the largest culturist organization in the world, the RSS.

Clifford Geertz's 1968 classic compares Islam in Indonesia and Morocco


"Ultra Society: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth," by Peter Turchin, argues that war made us go from having a tribal states to archaic states to modern nations. 

"War before Civilization" is by Lawrence Keely, a much needed rewrite to the myth of the peaceful savage, and essential culturist reading.

Mr. Robert Edgerton's "Sick Societies: Challenging the Myth of Primitive Harmony" shows that early societies were not kind nor healthy. It is a stunning book.

"A Green History of the World" predates Jared Diamond in bring the impact of the environment in history to our attention. It appears in the anthropology section of culturism.

"Totemism" is a really important book because it starts structuralism. Structuralism sees all cultures as essentially the same.

"How Natives Think" lost an early academic battle to "Totemism." Its overshadowing has done as much as Mead's later acaemic victories did to spread the idea that all cultures are the same. It should have won; it should be recovered.


David Shenk's book, "Data Smog" tells of the excess of available information screwing with our minds.

Its a post-modern ditty entitled "Life: The Movie, How Entertainment Conquered Reality." Neal Gabler is the author.

This summary is a combination of "Structuralism for Beginners", "Post-structuralism for Beginners" AND "Introducing Semiotics"

"Out of Control" is by the editor of Wired magazine, Kevin Kelly. It shows how emerging technology will reshape our world.

The title of "When things start to think" explains it all. It is a fun book by Gershenfel Neil of MIT fame.

"The Origins of American Social Science" is a classic deep overview. Dorothy Ross is the author.


George Creel's 1920 "How We Advertised America," tells how his Committee on Public Information sold WW I to the American public and the world.  It was an amazing act of culturism!

Stuart P. Sherman wrote, "Matthew Arnold: How to Know Him" in 1917.  Sherman was a key figure in the American movement to promote Arnold's literary ideals, the New Humanists.  So when you read this you have the views of a major culturist on the first culturist. Wow!

Albert Galloway Keller's 1915 "Societal Evolution: A Study of the Evolutionary Basis of the Science of Society," is an early stab at concilience. Such predecessors are ignored today, but point towards great culturist lessons. 

Richard Hofstadter's "Social Darwinism in American Thought," is a masterful summary at early attempts at concilience!

"Evolution and Culture" represents the cutting edge of 1960 cultural selection theory: neoevolutionism.  If fact it was a welcome, but weak, revision of 19th century social sciences.  

Golwalkar's 1939 "We or our Nationhood Defined" is the mission statement of the largest culturist group in the world, India's RSS

Matthew Arnold's 1869 "Culture and Anarchy" is one of the greatest culturist books ever written.

"Discourses in America" has the three speeches Arnold gave in America

Lionel Trilling's 1939 biography of Matthew Arnold puts moderns to shame.

Coulling's "Matthew Arnold and His Critics" investigates MA's ideas admirably

No Culturist should miss Carroll's "The Cultural Theory of Matthew Arnold."

M. Arnold's 1865, social criticism masterpiece, "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time"

"Arnold in America" looks at Matthew Arnold's 1883 and 1886 visits

A Life of Matthew Arnold gives a blow by blow description of the first culturist's life.

Thomas Carlyle's "On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History" explores culturist dynamics aptly

Frances Kellor is my newest culturist hero. She led the Americanization movement. Her harshest book, "Straight American" is summarized here.

Frances Kellor also wrote "The Federal Administration and the Alien: A supplement to Immigration and the Future."

"The Movement to Americanize the Immigrant" by Edward Hartmann is the only full length book on the Americanization Movement.

Lester Frank Ward is the American Aristotle and an important 19th century culturist. His 1893, "The Psychic Factors of Civilization" is scripture!! IF YOU WILL.

Lester Frank Ward's 1906 "Applied Sociology" shows that we haven't begun to tap the potential of mankind. We need to educate all! His analysis is again brilliant.


Paul Elmer More's "The Sceptical Approach to Religion," provides a rational approach to Christianity, based on history and Plato.  It can heal the West's rift between Athens and Jerusalem.

Plato's "LAWS" is foundational. It is the basis of all political imagination. It shows no matter what the genetic influence or mode of transmission mind is free to guide in myriads of ways.

"After Virtue" is an extremely important culturist book. It takes Aristotle's side against Kant's.

Copelston's "History of Philosophy" is a classic in the field of summaries. This summary of modern philsophies comes from the last volume of this Jesuit's survey. In it you can learn more about pragmatism, William James, and John Dewey.

"A Critique of Pure Tolerance" has a punny title and three different authors who dislike absolute tolerance as a basis of values.

Kant's infamously hard to understand "Critique of Judgment".

Not to be out done, Kant also wrote the very turgent and important, "Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals".

But then we go back in time to that Kantrarian (ha ha), Aristotle.  Aristotle found ethics to be in works.  This work is called the "Nicomachean ethics".

"Ideas Have Consequences" by Richard Weaver is a cornerstone manifesto. From a culturist perspective it only fails in making property rights metaphysically based.

"In Defense of Elitism" by William A. Henry III is another conservative cornerstone.

Nietzsche's "Beyond Good and Evil" is a morally ambiguous philosophy classic which shows that morals are not eternal.

"The Foucault Reader" is a collection of essays by the popular archeologist of mental states. His work also shows that mental states are or political concepts are not eternal vertitudes. Ironically cited by moral absolutists, he takes on Kant and the Enlightenment.


Brian Anse Patrick's, "The Ten Commandments of Propaganda," lists many, useful culturist techniques.  You should read the summary. 

While not a book, this summary is of a very culturist, pro-social, youth training basketball camp I attended as a coach.  And, the presenter, Tyler Coston, reads 42 books a year.  His program builds good, moral youth. 

Here are the great culturist Matthew Arnold's Reports on Education (1852 - 1882).

"The Learning Gap" is chock full of insights from a comparison of Japan's education system and ours.

Ms. Fass' "Outside In: Minorities and the Transofmation of American Education" looks at the often neglected topic of women's education and the impact of Catholic schools on public education. It also has a great study of NY yearbooks circa 1900.

Professor Zimmerman's book, "Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools" breaks the culture wars down into its religious and historical components so we can better contemplate resolutions.

"The Armed Services and Adult Education" surveys the wide variety of adult education programs offered by the military during World War Two. It ends with 51 implications for civilian adult education.

"The Uneducated" is a 1950s classic. It is a focused analysis of the successes and national implications of the Army's World War Two literacy training program

The National Youth Administration by Palmer O. Johnson Staff Study number 13. Prepared for the Advisory Committee on Education to the President was written in 1938

This Report of the National Advisory Committee of the NYA to the President is fromCharles W. Taussig. It was delivered on March 19th 1942

"Education in the Forming of American Society" is a beautifully concise, insightful summary of what it's title promises to explain.


E. K. Brown's "Matthew Arnold: A Study in Conflict" brilliantly explores the tension between pure art and activism in Arnold's work.  This is key to understanding Arnold!

"On Moral Fiction" by John Gardner is THE culturist literary critic.  He provides subtle criteria by which we can distinguish good from bad literature.

Ian Hamilton's "A Gift Imprisoned" belongs here just because it is about the life and poetry of the first person to be called a 'culturist', Matthew Arnold. 

Irving Babbitt's "On Being Creative" is a Culturist Literary Darwinism masterpiece.  He traces the downfall of art back to romanticism, and it's ignorant need for passion, and failure to see soul controlling our sinful nature. 

In Matthew Arnold's "The Study of Celtic Literature," he introduces the word 'consilience' and models the connection between ethnology and literature beautifully.   

Joseph Carroll's 'Evolution and Literary Theory' is one of the best culturist books ever. It naturalizes language and literary criticism.  It also presents a comprehensive map of the world in the manner of a 19th century book.  

John Henry Raleigh's 1961, "Matthew Arnold and American Culture," largely looks at how Arnold impacted culture via its impact on America's literary critics. 

"Overcoming Matthew Arnold: Ethics in Culture and Criticism," by James Walter Caufield, is a beautiful book.  It shows how the left and right have failed to 'get' Arnold since he died.  He shows that renunciation, dying of the self, in order to achieve true perspective and achieve our best selves, is at the heart of Arnold's work.

Jonathan Gottschall's "The Rape of Troy: Evolution, Violence, and the World of Homer," portrays the roots of violence in an excess of males and females choosing males in a background of evolutionary reproductive cycles.  The prisoner's dilemma section really speaks to our predicament today!

Marcus Nordlund's "Shakespeare and the Nature of Love: Literature, Culture, Evolution" brings common sense back to Shakespeare criticism and goes against 'culturalism' (not culturism) in a needed way.  

"Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began," makes a great case for arts promoting group selection, and then, somehow, turns them into a vague communist tools.  Culturists, read the first 4 chapters.

"The Ancestress Hypothesis: Visual Art as Adaption," by Kathryn Coe, argues that art evolved to bond communities.  Specifically, ancestress / ancestor worship extends the feeling of kin to all your descendants.  Very useful for a culturist!

"The New Humanism: A Critique of Modern America, 1900 - 1940," profiles the culturist New Humanist literary critics.  Like Matthew Arnold, they saw literary criticism as a way to revitalize western civilization.  Their analysis and solutions are still pertinent today. 

"On the Origin of Stories," is a multi-level explanation of literature from a cofounder of gene-culture co-evolution!  It acknowledges, though still underplays, group cohesion as a goal of art.

"A Biocultural Approach to Literary Theory and Interpretation," by Nancy Easterlin, has a nice critique of mainstream Literary Darwinism. 

Robert Storey's "Memesis and the Human Animal: On the Biogenetic Foundations of Literary Representation," shows our drives the stuff of narration and narration the way we navigate our biogrammar.  Wow!  Great foundational read in Literary Darwinism.

My "Evolution, Literature, and Film: A Reader,"summary is thick, but the book is too.  This will give you a chance to really understand each chapter.  Some of them, like #39, really help you see art's place in life better. 

The many authors in this literary Darwinism primer, "The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative," help us see the directions Literary Darwinism is and isn't going in.  This information provides important, captivating information for thoughtful culturists. 

Joseph Carrolls's introduction in "Reading Human Nature: Literary Darwinism in Theory and Practice," is a fine introduction to the field of Literary Darwinism.  This field helps put science and culture together. 

"The Magic Mountain" by Thomas Mann is a wonderful portrait of pre-World War I Europe: pitting Romanticism against rationalism and - perhaps - embracing nihilism.  Anyhow, shared touchstones help our inter-civilizational dialogue.

"Munich and Theatrical Modernism" by Peter Jelavic presents many cultural theater ideas, which will inspire your creativity.  It also includes a portrayal  of local cultural censorship dynamics.  Great stuff!


"Selling the War: The Making of American Propaganda," by Alan Axelrod, tells of great culturist techniques used during WW I.  

Jeffrey Mirel's "Patriotic Pluralism" describes the culturist Americanization Movement. My many culturist criticisms of his interpretation are in brackets.

"Pillars of the Republic: Common Schools and American Society, 1780 – 1860" covers what the title promises. It is by Carl F. Kaestle.

"Institutional Individualism: Conversation, Exile, and Nostalgia in Puritan New England" by Michael Kaufman profiles Hutchinson, Cotton, and Williams' Puritan ideologies.

"The Loyal and the Disloyal: Social Boundaries of Patriotism and Treason" is a 1966 classic by Morton Grodzins. Among other things, it argues that national loyalty is usually a passive byproduct of more local loyalties.

"The Myth of American Individualism" will change the way you look at early and modern American culture.

"Their Brothers' Keepers: Moral Stewardship in the United States, 1800-1865" tells the heroic struggle of temperance, abolitionist and Protestant culturists.

"The Puritan Family " by Edmund Morgan tells provides great insight into our national character.


Anthony D. Smith is a culturist hero!  His 'Myths and Memories of the Nation' shows 'Ethno-symbolist' culturist basis of nations.  And, it refutes 'academics' who think nations are 'modern' 'imagined' 'constructs.'  The West is real!

Willem Schinkel's 'Imagined Societies,' includes a chapter on the 'Rise of Culturism'.   He is against culturism.   But, still, his academese deconstruction of society and culturism is instructive. 

'Archeofuturism: European Visions of the Post-Catastrophic Age' provides a realistic way forward for the West.  Philosophically it is close to culturism: but it sees ethnic chaos as the only way forward.  Guillaume Faye's book may be necessary preparation for the future.

W. G. Runciman's "The Theory of Cultural and Social Selection," is a MUST READ for culturists.  Its main contribution? It distinguishes between cultural meme selection and social institutional / practice selection.  And it connects these to evolutionary psychology.  Wow!  

"Ethnic Conflict and Indoctrination: Altruism and Identity in Evolutionary Perspective," introduces you to "recognition markers" by which animals and humans recognize kin and make national identities, the biology behind indoctrination and more. If nothing else, read the intro to see the topics covered.  

The culturist world owes a debt of gratitude to Anthony Smith for his "Nationalism and Modernity."

Alfred Stepan's "Crafting State - Nations" is an anti-culturist book I reply to here.

I agree with much of what I read in "Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse" by Mary Ann Glendon.

Elie Kedourie's small, but excellent "Nationalism" is herein complimented with a lot of my own commentary in bold letters. This early romantic German model of community compares UNfavorably with the British rational model.


"On Deep History and The Brain," by Daniel Lord Smail, postulates that seeking neurotransmitters drove European expansion and the decline of religion.  Interesting stuff!

"Korea's Place in the Sun," by Bruce Cumings, is a detailed history of Korea, though it underplays culture greatly.

Though organized for teaching purposes, this is a good and thorough summary of a book that changed the way I and much of the world views global politics; Samuel Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order." This is essential culturist reading!

"Beyond Culture" by Edward T. Hall is a great summary of the deep differences between cultures.

"Civilization" was an amazing BBC series on the history of art. Sir Kenneth Clarke's transcript is summarized herein.

"The Chalice and the Blade" is a feminist history of the world that does not help the estimation of Western Civ. in Universities.

The End of Human Rights – Critical legal thought at the turn of the Century By Costas Douzinas defends it's title very well. It seems that humans rights are not an eternal truth.

Man and Technics is Oswald Spengler's (of decline and fall fame) attempt to map the evolution of man's consciousness.

This is a summary of a summary which summarizes Derrida's take on Fukuyama's "End of History".

"The Myth of the Eternal Return", by Mircae Eliade, also tries to suss out the ontology of the primitive mind. It postulates that previously man repeated the past to escape history. It provides a grounding for the uniqueness of our culture in the philosophy of history.

Back Home!!