Leisure the Basis of Culture

By Josef Pieper
Translated by Alexander Dru
Introduction by T. S. Eliot


This elegantly written work introduces the reader to an understanding that leisure is nothing less than “an attitude of mind and a condition of the soul that fosters a capacity to perceive the reality of the world.” Pieper demonstrates that “Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture,” and observes, “in our bourgeois Western world total labor has vanquished leisure. Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for nonactivity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our culture—and ourselves.”

Josef Pieper (1904–1997) was an influential German Catholic philosopher, scholar, and author.


Jan 1999 | 4-3/4 x 7-1/2 | 158 Pages



978-0-86597-210-0 Hardcover