The West feels lost. We hurtle from one crisis to another, lacking definition, terrified that our best days are behind us. The central argument of this book is that we can only face the futurewith hope if we have a propersense of tradition – political, social and religious. We ignore our past at our peril. The problem, argues Tim Stanley, is that the Western tradition is anti-tradition, that we have a habit of discarding old ways and old knowledge, leaving us uncertain how to act or, even, of who we really are. In this wide-ranging book, we see how tradition can be both beautiful and useful, from the deserts of Australia to the court of nineteenth century Japan. Some of the concepts defended here are highly controversial in the modern West: authority, nostalgia, rejection of self and the hunt for spiritual transcendence.