T.S. Eliot is known as one of the world's foremost poets and playwrights, but this book shows him as a brilliant essayist, philosopher, and theologian as well. This book consists of two essays: "The Idea of a Christian Society" and "Notes Toward the Definition of Culture." In these two essays, Eliot displays his mental prowess by cutting to the heart of the issues of culture in general in the second essay and specifically Christian culture in the first. His analysis of these subjects is very orderly, well-thought, and deeper than most any written today, even by sociologists and the like who make a career of studying these things. Eliot breaks culture down into three subclasses: individual, group/class, and whole society. He begins with the individual level of society, analyzing personality characteristics and the like, and moves his way up into group/class and then to the whole society, giving an extremely thoughtful and insightful argument into how these elements relate. Although this book was written over 50 years ago and isn't the most conventional look at these subjects, many of the things Eliot asserts are becoming obvious in today's society, proving him as not only a great writer but also as an accomplished thinker. He goes into great detail on class, geographic regions, sects, politics, religion, and education in relation to culture and society. While the writing is a bit more verbose and difficult than the average modern reader is used to, it is extremely logical; Eliot carefully builds each argument one step at a time. This order makes it possible to gain a great deal of understanding if the reader is willing to wade through the text and ponder what is written. I guarantee that even though many readers won't necessarily understand initially or perhaps agree with everything Eliot asserts in this book, anyone who reads it will end up with a far greater understanding of the workings of society. I recommend this book to anyone who is willing to be stretched in an intellectual way and anyone who seeks to gain a great insight into culture at its various levels and as a whole.