This provocative book chronicles the disappearance of the public intellectual in America. For over thirty years, the cultural landscape has been dominated by the generation of Irving Howe, Daniel Bell, and John Kenneth Galbraith; no younger group has arisen to succeed them. Unlike earlier intellectuals who lived in urban bohemias and wrote for the ...Read MoreThis provocative book chronicles the disappearance of the public intellectual in America. For over thirty years, the cultural landscape has been dominated by the generation of Irving Howe, Daniel Bell, and John Kenneth Galbraith; no younger group has arisen to succeed them. Unlike earlier intellectuals who lived in urban bohemias and wrote for the educated public, today's thinkers have flocked to the universities, where the politics of tenure loom larger than the politics of culture. In an incisive and passionate polemic, Russell Jacoby examines how gentrification, suburbanization, and academic careerism have sapped the vitality of American intellectual life.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1987-09-11 Writers and thinkers like Edmund Wilson and Lewis Mumford reached a diverse public, but today's intellectuals cluster in universities, producing monographs and articles read by a select few. Jacoby's thesis is that nonacademic intellectuals capable of a dialogue with a general, educated audience are an endangered species, nearly extinct. He notes that many 1960s New Leftists on campus were absorbed into the university, where they have produced a body of radical, feminist and neo-Marxist scholarship, but he finds their work ``largely technical, unreadable, and unread.'' Jacoby, whose books include Social Amnesia and The Repression of Psychoanalysis, links the decline of urban bohemian intellectuals to rising rents and living expenses. He suggests that rather than count the high proportion of Jews among the radical intelligentsia, we should take note of how few Jewish intellectuals have remained dissenters. His tract is bound to provoke heated debate. (September 28) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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