A trenchant critique of failure and opportunism across the political spectrum, American Idyll argues that social mobility, once a revered hallmark of American society, has ebbed, as higher education has become a mechanistic process for efficient sorting that has more to do with class formation than anything else. Academic freedom and aesthetic education are reserved for high-scoring, privileged students and vocational education is the only option for economically marginal ones.
Throughout most of American history, antielitist sentiment was reserved for attacks against an entrenched aristocracy or rapacious plutocracy, but it has now become a revolt against meritocracy itself, directed against what insurgents see as a ruling class of credentialed elites with degrees from exclusive academic institutions. Catherine Liu reveals that, within the academy and stemming from the relatively new discipline of cultural studies, animosity against expertise has animated much of the Left’s cultural criticism.
By unpacking the disciplinary formation and academic ambitions of American cultural studies, Liu uncovers the genealogy of the current antielitism, placing the populism that dominates headlines within a broad historical context. In the process, she emphasizes the relevance of the historical origins of populist revolt against finance capital and its political influence. American Idyll reveals the unlikely alliance between American pragmatism and proponents of the Frankfurt School and argues for the importance of broad frames of historical thinking in encouraging robust academic debate within democratic institutions. In a bold thought experiment that revives and defends Richard Hofstadter’s theories of anti-intellectualism in American life, Liu asks, What if cultural populism had been the consensus politics of the past three decades?
American Idyll shows that recent antielitism does nothing to redress the source of its discontent—namely, growing economic inequality and diminishing social mobility. Instead, pseudopopulist rage, in conservative and countercultural forms alike, has been transformed into resentment, content merely to take down allegedly elitist cultural forms without questioning the real political and economic consolidation of powers that has taken place in America during the past thirty years.
A highly readable introduction to and overview of the postwar social sciences in the United States, The Americanization of Social Science explores a critical period in the evolution of American sociology’s professional identity from the late 1940s through the early 1960s. David Paul Haney contends that during this time leading sociologists encouraged a professional secession from public engagement in the name of establishing the discipline’s scientific integrity.
According to Haney, influential practitioners encouraged a willful withdrawal from public sociology by separating their professional work from public life. He argues that this separation diminished sociologists’ capacity for conveying their findings to wider publics, especially given their ambivalence towards the mass media, as witnessed by the professional estrangement that scholars like David Riesman and C. Wright Mills experienced as their writing found receptive lay audiences. He argues further that this sense of professional insularity has inhibited sociology’s participation in the national discussion about social issues to the present day.
Intellectuals occupy a paradoxical position in contemporary American culture as they struggle both to maintain their critical independence and to connect to the larger society. In Anxious Intellects John Michael discusses how critics from the right and the left have conceived of the intellectual’s role in a pluralized society, weighing intellectual authority against public democracy, universal against particularistic standards, and criticism against the respect of popular movements. Michael asserts that these Enlightenment-born issues, although not “resolvable,” are the very grounds from which real intellectual work must proceed. As part of his investigation of intellectuals’ self-conceptions and their roles in society, Michael concentrates on several well-known contemporary African American intellectuals, including Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cornel West. To illuminate public debates over pedagogy and the role of university, he turns to the work of Todd Gitlin, Michael Bérubé, and Allan Bloom. Stanley Fish’s pragmatic tome, Doing What Comes Naturally, along with a juxtaposition of Fredric Jameson and Samuel Huntington’s work, proves fertile ground for Michael’s argument that democratic politics without intellectuals is not possible. In the second half of Anxious Intellects, Michael relies on three popular conceptions of the intellectual—as critic, scientist, and professional—to discuss the work of scholars Constance Penley, Henry Jenkins, the celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking, and others, insisting that ambivalence, anxiety, projection, identification, hybridity, and various forms of psychosocial complexity constitute the real meaning of Enlightenment intellectuality. As a new and refreshing contribution to the recently emergent culture and science wars, Michael’s take on contemporary intellectuals and their place in society will enliven and redirect these ongoing debates.
In Banquet at Delmonico’s, Barry Werth draws readers inside the circle of intellectuals, scientists, politicians, businessmen, and clergymen who brought Charles Darwin’s controversial ideas to post-Civil-War America. Each chapter is dedicated to a crucial intellectual encounter, culminating with an exclusive farewell dinner held in English philosopher Herbert Spencer’s honor at the venerable New York restaurant Delmonico’s in 1882. In this thought-provoking and nuanced account, Werth firmly situates social Darwinism in the context of the Gilded Age. Banquet at Delmonico’s is social history at its finest.
This remarkable history tells the story of the independent city-republic of Basel in the nineteenth century, and of four major thinkers who shaped its intellectual history: the historian Jacob Burckhardt, the philologist and anthropologist Johann Jacob Bachofen, the theologian Franz Overbeck, and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Remarkable and exceptionally readable . . . There is wit, wisdom and an immense erudition on every page."—Jonathan Steinberg, Times Literary Supplement
"Gossman's book, a product of many years of active contemplation, is a tour de force. It is at once an intellectual history, a cultural history of Basel and Europe, and an important contribution to the study of nineteenth-century historiography. Written with a grace and elegance that many aspire to, few seldom achieve, this is model scholarship."—John R. Hinde, American Historical Review
Popular culture has divorced itself from the life of the mind. Who has time for great books or deep thought when there is Jersey Shore to watch, a txt 2 respond 2, and World of Warcraft to play?
At the same time, those who pursue the life of the mind have insulated themselves from popular culture. Speaking in insider jargon and writing unread books, intellectuals have locked themselves away in a ghetto of their own creation. It wasn’t always so. Blue Collar Intellectuals vividly captures a time in the twentieth century when the everyman aspired to high culture and when intellectuals descended from the ivory tower to speak to the everyman. Author Daniel J. Flynn profiles thinkers from working-class backgrounds who played a prominent role in American life by addressing their intellectual work to a mass audience. Blue Collar Intellectuals tells the fascinating story of:he unschooled hobo who migrated from skid row anonymity to White House chats with the president and prime-time TV specials. Blue Collar Intellectuals tells the fascinating story of:
•The scandalous teacher-student romance that spawned a half-century labor of love in writing the history of the world.
•The Ivy League Ph.D. who held neither a high school nor college degree, and fittingly launched a renaissance in reading the great books outside of formal schools.
•The scholarship student who experienced the free market firsthand waiting tables and peddling socks, and who became one of capitalism’s most influential exponents.
•The impoverished outcast who became the poet of the pulps, elevating millions of readers along with heretofore marginal genres.
Guiding us through a world now vanished, Flynn causes us to look anew at our own digital age and its nostrums: Video gaming is just a new form of literacy, Reality shows . . . Challenge our emotional intelligence, and Who cares if Johnny can’t read? The value of books is overstated. Blue Collar Intellectuals shows us how much everyone intellectual and everyman alike has suffered from mass culture’s crowding out of higher things and the elite’s failure to engage the masses.
Praise for Blue Collar Intellectuals
“This book is not only an exciting story; it also corrects a terrible cultural mistake—the mistake of treating high culture, Great Books, and other canon-making visions of tradition as exploitative and spurious. Previous generations of intellectuals believed that our great cultural inheritance belonged to everyone, rich and poor, black and white and brown. Daniel Flynn’s profiles revive that belief, and they mark a vital alternative to the complacent relativism of contemporary cultural stewards.”
—Mark Bauerlein, best-selling author of The Dumbest Generation
“Flynn’s case histories of a wonderful—and uniquely American—tradition of bringing learning to the masses offers us a morality tale in these times of spiraling tuition, esoteric publication, and an insular academia mostly cut off from wider society. The fascinating portraits here remind us how not so long ago an interest in making knowledge known beyond the campus was not antithetical to learning but the very essence of the true intellectual.”
—Victor Davis Hanson, coauthor of Who Killed Homer? and The Bonfire of the Humanities
“Back in the middle decades of the twentieth century, millions of Americans supped at the table of high culture, learning history, philosophy, and economics from intellectual entrepreneurs like Will and Ariel Durant, Mortimer Adler, and Eric Hoffer. Daniel Flynn tells their story inBlue Collar
Using the lives of the three outstanding French intellectuals of the twentieth century, renowned historian Tony Judt offers a unique look at how intellectuals can ignore political pressures and demonstrate a heroic commitment to personal integrity and moral responsibility unfettered by the difficult political exigencies of their time.
Through the prism of the lives of Leon Blum, Albert Camus, and Raymond Aron, Judt examines pivotal issues in the history of contemporary French society—antisemitism and the dilemma of Jewish identity, political and moral idealism in public life, the Marxist moment in French thought, the traumas of decolonization, the disaffection of the intelligentsia, and the insidious quarrels rending Right and Left. Judt focuses particularly on Blum's leadership of the Popular Front and his stern defiance of the Vichy governments, on Camus's part in the Resistance and Algerian War, and on Aron's cultural commentary and opposition to the facile acceptance by many French intellectuals of communism's utopian promise. Severely maligned by powerful critics and rivals, each of these exemplary figures stood fast in their principles and eventually won some measure of personal and public redemption.
Judt constructs a compelling portrait of modern French intellectual life and politics. He challenges the conventional account of the role of intellectuals precisely because they mattered in France, because they could shape public opinion and influence policy. In Blum, Camus, and Aron, Judt finds three very different men who did not simply play the role, but evinced a courage and a responsibility in public life that far outshone their contemporaries.
"An eloquent and instructive study of intellectual courage in the face of what the author persuasively describes as intellectual irresponsibility."—Richard Bernstein, New York Times
A Certain Age is an unconventional, evocative work of history and a moving reflection on memory, modernity, space, time, and the limitations of traditional historical narratives. Rudolf Mrázek visited Indonesia throughout the 1990s, recording lengthy interviews with elderly intellectuals in and around Jakarta. With few exceptions, they were part of an urban elite born under colonial rule and educated at Dutch schools. From the early twentieth century, through the late colonial era, the national revolution, and well into independence after 1945, these intellectuals injected their ideas of modernity, progress, and freedom into local and national discussion.
When Mrázek began his interviews, he expected to discuss phenomena such as the transition from colonialism to postcolonialism. His interviewees, however, wanted to share more personal recollections. Mrázek illuminates their stories of the past with evocative depictions of their late-twentieth-century surroundings. He brings to bear insights from thinkers including Walter Benjamin, Bertold Brecht, Le Corbusier, and Marcel Proust, and from his youth in Prague, another metropolis with its own experience of passages and revolution. Architectural and spatial tropes organize the book. Thresholds, windowsills, and sidewalks come to seem more apt as descriptors of historical transitions than colonial and postcolonial, or modern and postmodern. Asphalt roads, homes, classrooms, fences, and windows organize movement, perceptions, and selves in relation to others. A Certain Age is a portal into questions about how the past informs the present and how historical accounts are inevitably partial and incomplete.
On February 6, 1945, Robert Brasillach was executed for treason by a French firing squad. He was a writer of some distinction—a prolific novelist and a keen literary critic. He was also a dedicated anti-Semite, an acerbic opponent of French democracy, and editor in chief of the fascist weekly Je Suis Partout, in whose pages he regularly printed wartime denunciations of Jews and resistance activists.
Was Brasillach in fact guilty of treason? Was he condemned for his denunciations of the resistance, or singled out as a suspected homosexual? Was it right that he was executed when others, who were directly responsible for the murder of thousands, were set free? Kaplan's meticulous reconstruction of Brasillach's life and trial skirts none of these ethical subtleties: a detective story, a cautionary tale, and a meditation on the disturbing workings of justice and memory, The Collaborator will stand as the definitive account of Brasillach's crime and punishment.
A National Book Award Finalist
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
"A well-researched and vivid account."—John Weightman, New York Review of Books
"A gripping reconstruction of [Brasillach's] trial."—The New Yorker
"Readers of this disturbing book will want to find moral touchstones of their own. They're going to need them. This is one of the few works on Nazism that forces us to experience how complex the situation really was, and answers won't come easily."—Daniel Blue, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
"The Collaborator is one of the best-written, most absorbing pieces of literary history in years."—David A. Bell, New York Times Book Review
"Alice Kaplan's clear-headed study of the case of Robert Brasillach in France has a good deal of current-day relevance. . . . Kaplan's fine book . . . shows that the passage of time illuminates different understandings, and she leaves it to us to reflect on which understanding is better."—Richard Bernstein, The New York Times
Samuel Johnson’s life was situated within a rich social and intellectual community of friendships—and antagonisms. Community and Solitude is a collection of ten essays that
explores relationships between Johnson and several of his main contemporaries—including James Boswell, Edmund Burke, Frances Burney, Robert Chambers, Oliver Goldsmith, Bennet Langton, Arthur Murphy, Richard Savage, Anna Seward, and Thomas Warton—and analyzes some of the literary productions emanating from the pressures within those relationships. In their detailed and careful examination of particular works situated within complex social and personal contexts, the essays in this volume offer a “thick” and illuminating description of Johnson’s world that also engages with larger cultural and aesthetic issues, such as intertextuality, literary celebrity, narrative, the nature of criticism, race, slavery, and sensibility.
Contributors: Christopher Catanese, James Caudle, Marilyn Francus, Christine Jackson-Holzberg, Claudia Thomas Kairoff, Elizabeth Lambert, Anthony W. Lee, James E. May, John Radner, and Lance Wilcox.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Edward Shils's attempt to work out a macrosociological theory which does justice both to the spiritual and intellectual dispositions and powers of the mind and to the reality of the larger society is an enterprise that has spanned several decades. In his steps toward the development of this theory he has not proceeded deductively; rather he has worked from his own concrete observations of Western, Asian, and African societies. Thus, despite the inevitable abstractness of marcrosociological theory, the papers in this volume—which have been published separately since the Second World War—have a quality of vivid substantiality that makes the theoretical statements they present easier to comprehend.
Professor Shils has attempted to develop a theory that has a place for more than those parts of society that are generated from the biological nature of human beings and those parts that are engendered by the desires of individuals, acting for themselves or for groups and categories of individuals, to maintain and increase their power over other human beings and to secure material goods and services for themselves. He has argued that there are constituents of society in which human beings seek and cultivate connections with objects that transcend those needed to satisfy biological necessity and the desire for material objects and power over others. This third stratum of social existence, he concludes, cannot be reduced to the other two and cannot be disregarded in any serious attempt to understand the function of any society. Thus Edward Shils, without disregarding its many valuable achievements, has nevertheless parted ways with much of modern sociology.
For this collection of papers the author has written an introductory intellectual autobiography that places each essay in the setting of the development of his thought and that connects it with his other writings.
Few people thought as deeply or incisively about Germany, Jewish identity, and the Holocaust as Hannah Arendt and Gershom Scholem. And, as this landmark volume reveals, much of that thinking was developed in dialogue, through more than two decades of correspondence.
Arendt and Scholem met in 1932 in Berlin and quickly bonded over their mutual admiration for and friendship with Walter Benjamin. They began exchanging letters in 1939, and their lively correspondence continued until 1963, when Scholem’s vehement disagreement with Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem led to a rupture that would last until Arendt’s death a dozen years later. The years of their friendship, however, yielded a remarkably rich bounty of letters: together, they try to come to terms with being both German and Jewish, the place and legacy of Germany before and after the Holocaust, the question of what it means to be Jewish in a post-Holocaust world, and more. Walter Benjamin is a constant presence, as his life and tragic death are emblematic of the very questions that preoccupied the pair. Like any collection of letters, however, the book also has its share of lighter moments: accounts of travels, gossipy dinner parties, and the quotidian details that make up life even in the shadow of war and loss.
In a world that continues to struggle with questions of nationalism, identity, and difference, Arendt and Scholem remain crucial thinkers. This volume offers us a way to see them, and the development of their thought, anew.
After Mexico’s revolution of 1910–1920, intellectuals sought to forge a unified cultural nation out of the country’s diverse populace. Their efforts resulted in an “ethnicized” interpretation of Mexicanness that intentionally incorporated elements of folk and indigenous culture. In this rich history, Rick A. López explains how thinkers and artists, including the anthropologist Manuel Gamio, the composer Carlos Chávez, the educator Moisés Sáenz, the painter Diego Rivera, and many less-known figures, formulated and promoted a notion of nationhood in which previously denigrated vernacular arts—dance, music, and handicrafts such as textiles, basketry, ceramics, wooden toys, and ritual masks—came to be seen as symbolic of Mexico’s modernity and national distinctiveness. López examines how the nationalist project intersected with transnational intellectual and artistic currents, as well as how it was adapted in rural communities. He provides an in-depth account of artisanal practices in the village of Olinalá, located in the mountainous southern state of Guerrero. Since the 1920s, Olinalá has been renowned for its lacquered boxes and gourds, which have been considered to be among the “most Mexican” of the nation’s arts. Crafting Mexico illuminates the role of cultural politics and visual production in Mexico’s transformation from a regionally and culturally fragmented country into a modern nation-state with an inclusive and compelling national identity.
In Mexico, as elsewhere, the national space, that network of places where the people interact with state institutions, is constantly changing. How it does so, how it develops, is a historical process-a process that Claudio Lomnitz exposes and investigates in this book, which develops a distinct view of the cultural politics of nation building in Mexico. Lomnitz highlights the varied, evolving, and often conflicting efforts that have been made by Mexicans over the past two centuries to imagine, organize, represent, and know their country, its relations with the wider world, and its internal differences and inequalities. Firmly based on particulars and committed to the specificity of such thinking, this book also has broad implications for how a theoretically informed history can and should be done.
An exploration of Mexican national space by way of an analysis of nationalism, the public sphere, and knowledge production, Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico brings an original perspective to the dynamics of national cultural production on the periphery. Its blending of theoretical innovation, historical inquiry, and critical engagement provides a new model for the writing of history and anthropology in contemporary Mexico and beyond.
Democracy Denied, 1905-1915
Charles KURZMAN Harvard University Press, 2008 Library of Congress JC421.K83 2008 | Dewey Decimal 321.809041
Kurzman proposes that the collective agent most directly responsible for democratization was the emerging class of modern intellectuals, a group that had gained a global identity and a near-messianic sense of mission following the Dreyfus Affair of 1898. Each chapter of this book focuses on a single angle of this story, covering all six cases by examining newspaper accounts, memoirs, and government reports.
The intellectual Alexander Herzen was as famous in his day as Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Aileen Kelly presents the first fully rounded study of the farsighted genius whom Isaiah Berlin called the forerunner of much twentieth-century thought. For Herzen, history, like Darwinian nature, was an improvisation both constrained and encouraged by chance.
Doubly Chosen provides the first detailed study of a unique cultural and religious phenomenon in post-Stalinist Russia—the conversion of thousands of Russian Jewish intellectuals to Orthodox Christianity, first in the 1960s and later in the 1980s. These time periods correspond to the decades before and after the great exodus of Jews from the Soviet Union. Judith Deutsch Kornblatt contends that the choice of baptism into the Church was an act of moral courage in the face of Soviet persecution, motivated by solidarity with the values espoused by Russian Christian dissidents and intellectuals. Oddly, as Kornblatt shows, these converts to Russian Orthodoxy began to experience their Jewishness in a new and positive way.
Working primarily from oral interviews conducted in Russia, Israel, and the United States, Kornblatt underscores the conditions of Soviet life that spurred these conversions: the virtual elimination of Judaism as a viable, widely practiced religion; the transformation of Jews from a religious community to an ethnic one; a longing for spiritual values; the role of the Russian Orthodox Church as a symbol of Russian national culture; and the forging of a new Jewish identity within the context of the Soviet dissident movement.
The autocratic rule of both tsar and church in imperial Russia gave rise not only to a revolutionary movement in the nineteenth century but also to a crisis of meaning among members of the intelligentsia. Personal faith became the subject of intense scrutiny as individuals debated the existence of God and the immortality of the soul, debates reflected in the best-known novels of the day. Friendships were formed and broken in exchanges over the status of the eternal. The salvation of the entire country, not just of each individual, seemed to depend on the answers to questions about belief.
Victoria Frede looks at how and why atheism took on such importance among several generations of Russian intellectuals from the 1820s to the 1860s, drawing on meticulous and extensive research of both published and archival documents, including letters, poetry, philosophical tracts, police files, fiction, and literary criticism. She argues that young Russians were less concerned about theology and the Bible than they were about the moral, political, and social status of the individual person. They sought to maintain their integrity against the pressures exerted by an autocratic state and rigidly hierarchical society. As individuals sought to shape their own destinies and searched for truths that would give meaning to their lives, they came to question the legitimacy both of the tsar and of Russia’s highest authority, God.
In Edward Said: Continuing the Conversation, Edward Said's long-time friends and collaborators continue their dialogue with Said where they had left off following his death in the fall of 2003.
The essays, imagining and recalling the cadences of Said's conversation, take various forms, including elaborations on his ideas, applications of his thought to new problems, and recollections of the indescribable electricity that made conversation with him intense and memorable. This lively, personal tone is a direct result of editors Homi Bhabha and W. J. T. Mitchell urging contributors to write in the spirit of a conversation interrupted, a call on hold, a letter waiting for a reply, a question hanging in the air. This is a work of immense imaginative and intellectual force and compelling candor, honoring Said's legacy as an activist intellectual.
This collection includes essays by Lila Abu-Lughod, Daniel Barenboim, Akeel Bilgrami, Paul Bové, Timothy Brennan, Noam Chomsky, Ranajit Guha, Harry Harootunian, Saree Makdisi, Aamir Mufti, Roger Owen, Gyan Prakash, Dan Rabinowitz, Jacqueline Rose, and Gayatri Spivak.
Distinguished by its multidisciplinary dexterity, this book is a masterfully woven reinterpretation of the life, travels, and scholarship of Edward W. Blyden, arguably the most influential Black intellectual of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It traces Blyden’s various moments of intellectual transformation through the multiple lenses of ethnicity, race, religion, and identity in the historical context of Atlantic exchanges, the Back-to-Africa movement, colonialism, and the global Black intellectual movement. In this book Blyden is shown as an African public intellectual who sought to reshape ideas about Africa circulating in the Atlantic world. The author also highlights Blyden’s contributions to different public spheres in Europe, in the Jewish Diaspora, in the Muslim and Christian world of West Africa, and among Blacks in the United States. Additionally, this book places Blyden at the pinnacle of Afropublicanism in order to emphasize his public intellectualism, his rootedness in the African historical experience, and the scholarship he produced about Africa and the African Diaspora. As Blyden is an important contributor to African studies, among other disciplines, this volume makes for critical scholarly reading.
Exploring the Roots of Digital and Media Literacy through Personal Narrative provides a wide-ranging look at the origins, concepts, theories, and practices of the field. This unique, exciting collection of essays by a range of distinguished scholars and practitioners offers insights into the scholars and thinkers who fertilized the minds of those who helped shape the theory and practice of digital and media literacy education.
Each chapter describes an individual whom the author considers to be a type of “grandparent.” By weaving together two sets of personal stories—that of the contributing author and that of the key ideas and life history of the historical figure under their scrutiny—major concepts of digital media and learning emerge.
The French Writers' War, 1940–1953, is a remarkably thorough account of French writers and literary institutions from the beginning of the German Occupation through France's passage of amnesty laws in the early 1950s. To understand how the Occupation affected French literary production as a whole, Gisèle Sapiro uses Pierre Bourdieu's notion of the "literary field." Sapiro surveyed the career trajectories and literary and political positions of 185 writers. She found that writers' stances in relation to the Vichy regime are best explained in terms of institutional and structural factors, rather than ideology. Examining four major French literary institutions, from the conservative French Academy to the Comité national des écrivains, a group formed in 1941 to resist the Occupation, she chronicles the institutions' histories before turning to the ways that they influenced writers' political positions. Sapiro shows how significant institutions and individuals within France's literary field exacerbated their loss of independence or found ways of resisting during the war and Occupation, as well as how they were perceived after Liberation.
In this interdisciplinary and controversial work, Igal Halfin takes an original and provocative stance on Marxist theory, and attempts to break down the divisions between history, philosophy, and literary theory.
A Guide to Greek Thought
Jacques. Brunschwig Harvard University Press, 2003 Library of Congress DF78.S23213 2003 | Dewey Decimal 180
The philosophers, historians, and scientists of ancient Greece inaugurated and nourished the tradition of Western thought. This volume, drawn from the reference work Greek Thought: A Guide to Classical Knowledge, gives fresh insight into the originality of major figures and the legacy of important currents of thought.
CURRENTS OF THOUGHT The Academy Aristotelianism Cynicism Hellenism and Christianity Hellenism and Judaism The Milesians Platonism Pythagoreanism Skepticism Sophists Stoicism
Chronology Contributors Index
Reviews of this book: "Although a nice thing to leave on your coffee table, it is much more than an intellectual fashion acessory: a work which gts better the deeper.And if you should ask what we have still to learn from the speculations and experiment of the ancient greeks, it gives as good an answer as any you will get" --Christian Tyler, Financial Times
Reviews of this book: "Greek thought... has compled to capture the sheer nterlectual exhilaration of Greek thought- to introduce its readers to that certain intensity of life among the Greeks whichflourished because of their way of thinking about the world, and to suggest that this way of life should be no more confined to the study now than it was then." --Lesley Dean-Jones, Washington Times
That is how the celebrated British academic Noel Annan described Herbert Butterfield (1900–1979), a profound and prolific writer who made important contributions as both a public and academic historian.
In this authoritative and accessible intellectual biography, Kenneth B. McIntyre explores the extraordinary range of Butterfield’s work. He shows why the small book The Whig Interpretation of History (1931) achieved such large influence; Butterfield, he demonstrates, has profoundly shaped American and European historiography by highlighting the distortions that occur when historians interpret the past merely as steps along the way toward the glorious present.
But McIntyre delves much deeper, examining everything from Butterfield’s lectures on history, historiography, and Christianity, to his warnings about the dangers of hubris in international affairs, to his essays on the origins of modern science, which basically created the modern discipline of the history of science.
This latest volume in ISI Books’ acclaimed Library of Modern Thinkers helps us understand a prescient and insightful thinker who challenged dominant currents in history, historiography, international relations, and politics.
A Herzen Reader
Alexander Herzen, Kathleen Parthe Northwestern University Press, 2012 Library of Congress DK189.H42 2012 | Dewey Decimal 947.073
A Herzen Reader presents in English for the first time one hundred essays and editorials by the radical Russian thinker Alexander Herzen (1812–1870). Herzen wrote most of these pieces for The Bell, a revolutionary newspaper he launched with the poet Nikolai Ogaryov in London in 1857. Smugglers secretly carried copies of The Bell into Russia, where it influenced debates over the emancipation of the serfs and other reforms. With his characteristic irony, Herzen addressed such issues as freedom of speech, a nonviolent path to socialism, and corruption and paranoia at the highest levels of government. He discussed what he saw as the inability of even a liberator like Czar Alexander II to commit to change. A Herzen Reader stands on its own for its fascinating glimpse into Russian intellectual life of the 1850s and 1860s. It also provides invaluable context for understanding Herzen’s contemporaries, including Fyodor Dostoevsky and Ivan Turgenev.
A 20th-century prophet who offered a vision of democratic community.
"Herman Clarence Nixon (1886-1967) was an outstanding professor of history and political science and persistent southern liberal during the middle third of the 20th century. Shouse's biography of Nixon thoroughly explores his contributions as an academician and a liberal advocate. . . . Shouse's narrative of his youth, education, academic career, and liberal activism is lively. The information she presents concerning Nixon's experiences in Paris during 1919, his involvement in the writing of I'll Take My Stand, his leadership in the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, and his contributions to southern historiography certainly enriches our knowledge."
—American Historical Review
"Nixon suffered for his actions. . . . It is a testimony to what C. Vann Woodward called 'hillbilly realism' that Nixon could nonetheless find solace in the simplest forms of community. Because his life was the cautionary tale that Shouse presents, there is value in pondering whether Nixon's country ways were really obsolete—or part of the bedrock on which the momentous changes of recent years are still being built."
Novelist, television personality, political candidate, and maverick social commentator, Gore Vidal is one of the most innovative, influential, and enduring American intellectuals of the past fifty years. In How to Be an Intellectual in the Age of TV, Marcie Frank provides a concise introduction to Vidal’s life and work as she argues that the twentieth-century shift from print to electronic media, particularly TV and film, has not only loomed large in Vidal’s thought but also structured his career. Looking at Vidal’s prolific literary output, Frank shows how he has reflected explicitly on this subject at every turn: in essays on politics, his book on Hollywood and history, his reviews and interviews, and topical excursions within the novels. At the same time, she traces how he has repeatedly crossed the line supposedly separating print and electronic culture, perhaps with more success than any other American intellectual. He has written television serials and screenplays, appeared in movies, and regularly appeared on television, most famously in heated arguments with Norman Mailer on The Dick Cavett Show and with William F. Buckley during ABC’s coverage of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Frank highlights the connections between Vidal’s attitudes toward TV, sex, and American politics as they have informed his literary and political writings and screen appearances. She deftly situates his public persona in relation to those of Andy Warhol, Jacqueline Susann, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, and others. By describing Vidal’s shrewd maneuvering between different media, Frank suggests that his career offers a model to aspiring public intellectuals and a refutation to those who argue that electronic media have eviscerated public discourse.
“The great unsung hero of the conservative movement” —MARK LEVIN
If Not Us, Who? is both the story of an architect of the modern conservative movement and a colorful journey through a half century of high-level politics.
Best known as the longtime publisher of National Review, William Rusher (1923–2011) was more than just a crucial figure in the history of the Right’s leading magazine. He was a political intellectual, tactician, and strategist who helped shape the historic rise of conservatism.
To write If Not Us, Who?, David B. Frisk pored over Rusher’s voluminous papers at the Library of Congress and interviewed dozens of insiders, including National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr., in addition to Rusher himself. The result is a gripping biography, authorized yet independent, that shines new light on Rusher’s significance as an observer and an activist while bringing to life more than a generation’s worth of political hopes, fears, and controversies.
Frisk vividly captures the joys and struggles at National Review, including Rusher’s complex relationship with the legendary Buckley. Here we see the powerful blend of wit, erudition, dedication, shrewdness, and earnestness that made Rusher an influential figure at NR and an indispensable link between conservatism’s leading theorists and its political practitioners.
“If not us, who? If not now, when?”—a maxim often attributed to Ronald Reagan—could have been Rusher’s motto. In everything he did—publishing National Review, recruiting and advising political candidates, organizing cadres of young conservatives, taking on liberal advocates in a popular television debate program, writing a syndicated column—his objective was to build a movement. And he constantly exhorted his colleagues to step up as leaders of that movement. His tireless efforts proved essential to conservatism’s ascendancy, from the pivotal Goldwater campaign through the Reagan era.
Largely unexamined until now, Rusher’s career opens a new window onto the history of the conservative movement, its successes and failures. This comprehensive biography reintroduces readers to a remarkable man of thought and action.
Jung-Sun N. Han examines the role of liberal intellectuals in reshaping transnational ideas and internationalist aspirations into national values and imperial ambitions in early twentieth-century Japan. Han’s focus is on the ideas and activities of Yoshino Sakuzo (1878–1933), who was a champion of prewar Japanese liberalism and Taisho democracy.
Long before the guillotines of the 1789 Revolution brought a grisly political end to the ancien régime, Jay Caplan argues, the culture of absolutism had already perished. In the King's Wake traces the emergence of a post-absolutist culture across a wide range of works and genres: Saint-Simon's memoirs of Louis XIV and the Regency; Voltaire's first tragedy, Oedipe; Watteau's last great painting, L'Enseigne de Gersaint; the plays of Marivaux; and Casanova's History of My Life.
While absolutist culture had focused on value directly represented in people (e.g., those of noble blood) and things (e.g., coins made of precious metals), post-absolutist culture instead explored the capacity of signs to stand for something real (e.g., John Law's banknotes or Marivaux's plays in which actions rather than birth signify nobility). Between the image of the Sun King and visions of the godlike Romantic self, Caplan discovers a post-absolutist France wracked by surprisingly modern conflicts over the true sources of value and legitimacy.
What kinds of intellectual practices are influential in the making and remaking of nations? How do literary texts shape nation-making? When are intellectuals most and least relevant to developing the nation? How do liberal, socialist, and nationalist intellectuals shape national ideologies?
One of the principal debates in the study of nations concerns the relative significance of elites, specifically intellectuals, in inventing the nation. Intellectuals and the Articulation of the Nation delimits the capacities of intellectuals for shaping nations, as well as the ways in which the development of nations shapes intellectual practices. The introductory chapter presents the principal debates around nation-making and the identity and practices of intellectuals. Contributors from anthropology, history, literature, political science and sociology then explore the capacities and limits of intellectuals in the formation and restructuring of national identities in general, and in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in particular.
Each essay is followed by a brief intellectual autobiography in which the author's own relationship to nations is explored. The editors conclude the volume by developing a general theory of national intellectual practice.
The principal focus of this book--the mutual articulation of intellectuals and nations--is a key subject for students and scholars of history, cultural studies, political science, anthropology, and sociology.
Ronald Grigor Suny is Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago. Michael D. Kennedy is Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan.
Intellectuals, Socialism, and Dissent was first published in 1995. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Once the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the people of East Germany had little use for the dissident intellectuals who had helped bring it down. Intellectuals, Socialism, and Dissent offers a penetrating look into the circumstances of this fall from grace, unique among the former Communist states.
John Torpey traces the dissident intellectuals' fate to the peculiar situation of the East German regime, which sought to build "socialism in a quarter of a country" on the anti-fascist foundations of Communist opposition to Nazism. He shows how the regime's unusual history and subnational status helped sustain the East German intelligentsia's conviction that socialism could be reformed and humane-that there was a "third way" between Soviet-style socialism and the capitalism that took root in West Germany. How the pursuit of this third way both supported and undermined the regime, and both galvanized and alienated the East German people, becomes clear in Torpey's nuanced analysis. His book makes a powerful contribution to our understanding of the politics of intellectuals during one of the most painful chapters in modern German history.
John C. Torpey is currently a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence.
Killing Time is the story of Paul Feyerabend's life. Finished only weeks before his death in 1994, it is the self-portrait of one of this century's most original and influential intellectuals.
Trained in physics and astronomy, Feyerabend was best known as a philosopher of science. But he emphatically was not a builder of theories or a writer of rules. Rather, his fame was in powerful, plain-spoken critiques of "big" science and "big" philosophy. Feyerabend gave voice to a radically democratic "epistemological anarchism:" he argued forcefully that there is not one way to knowledge, but many principled paths; not one truth or one rationality but different, competing pictures of the workings of the world. "Anything goes," he said about the ways of science in his most famous book, Against Method. And he meant it.
Here, for the first time, Feyerabend traces the trajectory that led him from an isolated, lower-middle-class childhood in Vienna to the height of international academic success. He writes of his experience in the German army on the Russian front, where three bullets left him crippled, impotent, and in lifelong pain. He recalls his promising talent as an operatic tenor (a lifelong passion), his encounters with everyone from Martin Buber to Bertolt Brecht, innumerable love affairs, four marriages, and a career so rich he once held tenured positions at four universities at the same time.
Although not written as an intellectual autobiography, Killing Time sketches the people, ideas, and conflicts of sixty years. Feyerabend writes frankly of complicated relationships with his mentor Karl Popper and his friend and frequent opponent Imre Lakatos, and his reactions to a growing reputation as the "worst enemy of science."
Leaders of the Mexican American Generation explores the lives of a wide range of influential members of the US Mexican American community between 1920 and 1965 who paved the way for major changes in their social, political, and economic status within the United States.
Including feminist Alice Dickerson Montemayor, to San Antonio attorney Gus García, and labor activist and scholar Ernesto Galarza, the subjects of these biographies include some of the most prominent idealists and actors of the time. Whether debating in a court of law, writing for a major newspaper, producing reports for governmental agencies, organizing workers, holding public office, or otherwise shaping space for the Mexican American identity in the United States, these subjects embody the core values and diversity of their generation.
More than a chronicle of personalities who left their mark on Mexican American history, Leaders of the Mexican American Generation cements these individuals as major players in the history of activism and civil rights in the United States. It is a rich collection of historical biographies that will enlighten and enliven our understanding of Mexican American history.
This story begins in the Paris of the 1930s, when artists and writers stood at the center of the world stage. In the decade that saw the rise of the Nazis, much of the thinking world sought guidance from this extraordinary group of intellectuals. Herbert Lottman's chronicle follows the influential players—Gide, Malraux, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Koestler, Camus, and their pro-Fascist counterparts—through the German occupation, Liberation, and into the Cold War, when the struggle between superpowers all but drowned out their voices.
"Surprisingly fresh and intense. . . . A retrospective travelogue of the Left Bank in the days when it was the setting for almost all French intellectual activity. . . . Absorbing."—Naomi Bliven, New Yorker
"As an introduction to a period in French history already legendary, The Left Bank is superb."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World
"An intellectual history. A history of the interaction between politics and letters. And a rumination on the limitless credulity of intellectuals."—Christopher Hitchens, New Statesman
The Letters of Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli University of Chicago Press, 1988 Library of Congress DG738.14.M2A4 1988 | Dewey Decimal 320.10924
This collection of the most brilliant and characteristic letters of Niccolò Machiavelli displays the vital and penetrating mind of the man who wrote the first work of modern political science. These letters, which reveal Machiavelli's critical intelligence, sense of humor, and elegant sense, are our chief source of information about his personal life. As such, they will serve as a vivid introduction to the personalities and events of the most turbulent period of the Renaissance, and they will also enlighten people who have been fascinated by the political thinker who wrote The Prince and The Discourses on Livy.
Life of Henry David Thoreau
Henry S. SaltEdited by George Hendrick, Willene Hendrick, and Fritz Oehlschlaeger University of Illinois Press, 1993 Library of Congress PS3053.S3 1993 | Dewey Decimal 818.309
No Englishman did more in the nineteenth century to advance the literary reputation of Henry David Thoreau than Henry S. Salt. A biographer and literary critic as well as a remarkable reformer who participated broadly in his era's movements for social change, Salt abandoned his mastership at Eton in the 1880s to devote himself to causes including socialism, vegetarianism, animals' rights, conservation, and prison reform.
In 1890 Salt published the initial version of Thoreau's Life. With the help of American friends, he revised the book and published it anew six years later. The present volume is the third version of the biography, completed in 1908 but never published in Salt's lifetime.
Combining a concise narrative of Thoreau's life with a perceptive treatment of his ideas and writings, it stands as a penetrating study of Thoreau, stressing his distinctive individuality. Through an astute analysis of the text and a concise biography, the editors illustrate Salt's growth as a scholar and his changing views on Thoreau and Thoreau's philosophy.
Lines of Descent
Kwame Anthony Espinosa Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress LB875.D83A67 2014 | Dewey Decimal 973.04960730092
W. E. B. Du Bois never felt so at home as when he was a student in Berlin. Germany was the first place white people had treated him as an equal. But anti-Semitism was prevalent, and Du Bois' challenge, says Kwame Anthony Appiah, was to take the best of German intellectual life without its parochialism--to steal the fire without getting burned.
For two generations, writers in the German Democratic Republic enjoyed a massive audience in their own country, a readership dependent on their works for a measure of utopian solace amid the grimness of life under Communism. But after the fall of the Berlin Wall, these writers were abandoned by their readers and stripped of the professional structures that had supported them. Their literary culture destroyed, they were rebuked for compliant service to the discredited state; and some were reviled for collaborating with the East German secret police, the Stasi.
What drove leading thinkers, including those of the avant-garde who publicly embraced intellectual freedom, to serve as government informants? Why were they content to work within a repressive system rather than challenging it outright? This collection of interviews with more than two dozen writers and literary scholars, including several Stasi informants, provides a gripping, often dismaying picture of the motivations, compromises, and illusions of East German intellectual life.
In conversations with Robert von Hallberg, writers such as best-selling novelist Hermann Kant, playwright Christoph Hein, and avant-garde poet-publisher Sascha Anderson talk about their lives and work before the fall of the wall in 1989—about the constraints and privileges of Communist Party membership, experiences of government censorship and self-censorship, and relations with their readers. They reflect on why the possibilities of opposition to the state seemed so limited, and on how they might have found ways to resist more aggressively. Turning to the controversies that have emerged since reunification, including the Stasi scandals involving Anderson and Christa Wolf, they discuss their feelings of complicity and the need for further self-examination. Two interviews with Anderson—one conducted before he was exposed as a Stasi collaborator and one conducted afterward—offer unique insight into the double life led by many writers and scholars in the German Democratic Republic.
In the early 1930s, the American Communist Party attracted support from a wide range of liberal and radical intellectuals, partly in response to domestic politics, and also in opposition to the growing power of fascism abroad. The Long War, a social history of these intellectuals and their political institutions, tells the story of the rift that developed among the groups loosely organized under the umbrella of the Party—representing communist supporters of the People’s Front and those who would become anti-Stalinists—and the evolution of that rift into a generational divide that would culminate in the liberal anti-communism of the post-World War II era. Judy Kutulas takes us into the debates and outright fights between and within the ranks of organizations such as the League of American Writers, the John Reed Clubs, the Committee for Cultural Freedom, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners. Showing how extremist views about the nature and value of communism triumphed over more moderate ones, she traces the transfer of the left’s leadership from one generation to the next. She describes how supporters of the People’s Front were discredited by the time of the Nazi-Soviet Pact and how this opened the way for a new generation of leaders better known as the New York intellectuals. In this shift, Kutulas identifies the beginnings of the liberal anti-communism that would follow World War II. A book for students and scholars of the intersection of politics and culture, The Long War offers a new, informed perspective on the intellectual maneuvers of the American left of the 1930s and leads to a reinterpretation of the time and its complex legacy.
During the years leading up to World War I, America experienced a crisis of civic identity. How could a country founded on liberal principles and composed of increasingly diverse cultures unite to safeguard individuals and promote social justice? In this book, Jonathan Hansen tells the story of a group of American intellectuals who believed the solution to this crisis lay in rethinking the meaning of liberalism.
Intellectuals such as William James, John Dewey, Jane Addams, Eugene V. Debs, and W. E. B. Du Bois repudiated liberalism's association with acquisitive individualism and laissez-faire economics, advocating a model of liberal citizenship whose virtues and commitments amount to what Hansen calls cosmopolitan patriotism. Rooted not in war but in dedication to social equity, cosmopolitan patriotism favored the fight against sexism, racism, and political corruption in the United States over battles against foreign foes. Its adherents held the domestic and foreign policy of the United States to its own democratic ideals and maintained that promoting democracy universally constituted the ultimate form of self-defense. Perhaps most important, the cosmopolitan patriots regarded critical engagement with one's country as the essence of patriotism, thereby justifying scrutiny of American militarism in wartime.
From the late nineteenth century to the eve of World War II, America's experts on Russia watched as Russia and the Soviet Union embarked on a course of rapid industrialization. Captivated by the idea of modernization, diplomats, journalists, and scholars across the political spectrum rationalized the enormous human cost of this path to progress. In a fascinating examination of this crucial era, David Engerman underscores the key role economic development played in America's understanding of Russia and explores its profound effects on U.S. policy.
American intellectuals from George Kennan to Samuel Harper to Calvin Hoover understood Russian events in terms of national character. Many of them used stereotypes of Russian passivity, backwardness, and fatalism to explain the need for--and the costs of--Soviet economic development. These costs included devastating famines that left millions starving while the government still exported grain.
This book is a stellar example of the new international history that seamlessly blends cultural and intellectual currents with policymaking and foreign relations. It offers valuable insights into the role of cultural differences and the shaping of economic policy for developing nations even today.
Table of Contents:
Introduction: From the Other Shore
Part I: Autocratic Russia, Lethargic Russians 1. An Empire of Climate 2. Endurance without Limit 3. Studying Our Nearest Oriental Neighbor
Part II: Revolutionary Russia, Instinctual Russians 4. Little above the Brute 5. Sheep without a Shepherd 6. Feeding the Mute Millions of Muzhiks
Part III: Modernizing Russia, Backward Russians 7. New Society, New Scholars 8. The Romance of Economic Development 9. Starving Itself Great 10. Scratch a Soviet and You'll Find a Russian
Epilogue: Russian Expertise in an Age of Social Science
Sources Abbreviations Notes Acknowledgments Index
Reviews of this book: Readers of Mr. Engerman's book will be struck by parallels to current globalization debates between ascendant universalists and skeptical particularists. --Bertrand M. Patenaude, Wall Street Journal
Based on extraordinary archival research, Engerman's gripping study is historical scholarship at its most impressive. --Anders Stephanson, Columbia University
David Engerman has written an original and imaginatively conceived inquiry into cultural perception as a form of social power--and moral challenge. Deftly weaving together Russian and American history, he recounts how U.S. foreign policy intellectuals and experts of all political persuasions allowed persistent cultural stereotypes and universalistic visions of the future to justify unimaginable suffering and death in Russia. This timely and important book speaks urgently not only to haunting moral questions of the century past but also to those in the present. --Thomas Bender, New York University
An original, highly stimulating, and beautifully written exploration of the cultural dimension of U.S.-Russian relations. By placing American perceptions of Russia in a broad historical and conceptual context, Engerman recaptures outlooks and frameworks that were at one time central to all serious thinking about international relations. In today's era of globalization, the problems of universalism and particularism that lie at the core of his account are every bit as relevant for us as they were to his historical protagonists. --Frank Ninkovich, St. John's University
An impressive work in a number of ways, deeply grounded in primary sources, and exceptionally well written, David Engerman's book is a treasure trove for students of Russian-American relations. --Abbott Gleason, Brown University
The first psychosocial study of the female intelligentsia in Russia, Mothers and Daughters explains how and why women radicals of the nineteenth century diverged from their male counterparts, describes the forces that led women to rebel, and discusses their legacy to future generations. Throughout, Engel brings nineteenth-century women to life, humanizing history as she presents a case study of how the personal became political in a time and place different from our own.
Beginning with Alexis de Tocqueville and Frances Trollope, visitors to America have written some of the most penetrating and, occasionally, scathing commentaries on U.S. politics and culture. Observing America focuses on four of the most insightful British commentators on America between 1890 and 1950. The colorful journalist W. T. Stead championed Anglo-American unity while plunging into reform efforts in Chicago. The versatile writer H. G. Wells fiercely criticized capitalist America but found reason for hope in the administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. G. K. Chesterton, one of England’s great men of letters, urged Americans to preserve the vestiges of Jeffersonian democracy that he still discerned in the small towns of the heartland. And the influential political theorist and activist Harold Laski assailed the business ethos that he believed dominated the nation, especially after Franklin Roosevelt’s death.
Robert Frankel examines the New World experiences of these commentators and the books they wrote about America. He also probes similar writings by other prominent observers from the British Isles, including Beatrice Webb, Rudyard Kipling, and George Bernard Shaw. The result is a book that offers keen insights into America’s national identity in a time of vast political and cultural change.
Spy romances of Cold War counterespionage evoke scenes of heroic FBI and CIA agents dedicated to smashing communism and its subversive coterie of intellectual fellow travelers bent on painting the world red.
John Rodden cuts this tall tale down to its authentic pint size, refusing to indulge the public relations myth promoted by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. In Of G-Men and Eggheads, Rodden portrays federal agents’ hilarious obsession with monitoring that ever-present threat to national security, the American literary intellectual. Drawing on government dossiers and archives, Rodden focuses on the onetime members of a radical political sect of ex-Trotskyists (barely numbering a thousand at its height), the so-called New York intellectuals. He describes the nonsensical decades-long pursuit of this group of intellectuals, especially Lionel Trilling, Dwight Macdonald, and Irving Howe. The Keystone Cops style of numerous FBI agents is documented carefully in Rodden's meticulous case studies of how Hoover's men recruited informants to snoop on the "Commies," opened their personal mail, tracked their movements, and reported on their wives and friends.
Nicolas Fabri de Peiresc was the most gifted French intellectual in the generation between Montaigne and Descartes. His insatiable curiosity poured forth in thousands of letters that traveled the Mediterranean, seeking knowledge. Mining his 70,000-page archive, Peter N. Miller recovers a lost Mediterranean world of the early seventeenth century.
Gary A. Olson presents six in-depth interviews with internationally prominent scholars outside of the discipline and twelve response essays written by noted rhetoric and composition scholars on subjects related to language, rhetoric, writing, philosophy, feminism, and literary criticism. The interviews are with philosopher of language Donald Davidson, literary critic and critical legal studies scholar Stanley Fish, cultural studies and African American studies scholar bell hooks, internationally renowned deconstructionist J. Hillis Miller, feminist literary critic Jane Tompkins, and British logician and philosopher of science Stephen Toulmin.
Susan Wells and Reed Way Dasenbrock provide distinctly divergent assessments of the application of Donald Davidson’ s language theory to rhetoric and composition, and especially to writing pedagogy. Patricia Bizzell and John Trimbur explore how Stanley Fish’ s neopragmatism might be useful both to composition theory and to literacy education. And Joyce Irene Middleton and Tom Fox discuss bell hooks’ s notions of how race and gender affect pedagogy. In two frank and sometimes angry responses, Patricia Harkin and Jasper Neel take J. Hillis Miller to task for seeming to support rhetoric and composition while continuing to maintain the political status quo. Similarly, Susan C. Jarratt and Elizabeth A. Flynn express skepticism about Jane Tompkins’ s vocal support of composition and of radical pedagogy particularly. And Arabella Lyon and C. Jan Swearingen analyze Stephen Toulmin’ s thoughts on argumentation and postmodernism.
Internationally respected anthropologist Clifford Geertz provides a foreword; literacy expert Patricia Bizzell contributes an introduction to the text; and noted reader-response critic David Bleich supplies critical commentary.
This book is a follow-up to the editor’ s (Inter)views: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Rhetoric and Literacy, already a major work of scholarship in the field.
The Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association found a fixed canon and revolutionized the study of the humanities and social sciences in the United States and around the world by making that canon fluid. The full ramifications of this revolt against traditional academia not finished nor fully understood. This is a record of the goals and accomplishments of the pioneers in this field. The essays recall the barriers that the first pop culture scholars faced and tracks their achievements.
In these vivid portraits of prominent twentieth-century intellectuals, Edward Shils couples the sensitivity of a biographer with the profound knowledge of a highly respected scholar. Ranging as widely across various disciplines as Shils himself did, the essays gathered here share a distaste for faddists who "run with the intellectual mob" and a deep respect for intellectuals who maintain their integrity under great pressure.
Highlights include an affectionate treatment of Leo Szilard, the physicist whose involvement with the development of the atomic bomb led him to work ceaselessly to address its social consequences; a discussion of the educational philosophy of Robert Maynard Hutchins, the University of Chicago's fifth and most controversial president; an appreciative account of the Polish emigré Leopold Labedz's well-informed and outspoken resistance to Communism; and an essay about the extraordinary Indian writer Nirad Chaudhuri.
Many of these essays have appeared in The American Scholar, edited by Joseph Epstein, who introduces this volume with his own portrait of Edward Shils.
"Though professionally a sociologist, Edward Shils was a man of wide cosmopolitan culture and experience, greatly concerned with the public problems of his time: in particular with those created by the rise of new and dangerous ideologies, the frightening possibilities of science, and the apparent abrogation of public responsibility by many Western intellectuals."—Hugh Trevor-Roper
The late Edward Shils was a member of the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought for forty-five years and a fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge University. His many books include The Calling of Sociology and The Intellectuals and the Powers, both published by the University of Chicago Press.
A decade after reunification, with Germany laboring to define a new national identity, the defunct German Democratic Republic has gained a second life in the pages of history. The former GDR, and particularly the fate of its intellectuals, has become the subject of novels, memoirs, and films, and it has also become the backdrop for general debates over the power of intellectuals in contemporary media and society.
This new collection of essays considers the demise of the GDR and its impact on the place of intellectuals in Germany today. Distinguished contributors from Germany, Austria, and the United States survey aspects of high and low culture, including the current nostalgia for East German film, the demise of the GDR rock scene, the pivotal role of East German poets, the consolidation and privatization of German media, and the frightening new resurgence of right-wing violence. The result is a timely volume that charts Germany's rocky transition from one world to another.
Mitchell G. Ash
Patricia Anne Simpson
Richard A. POSNER Harvard University Press, 2001 Library of Congress JK468.P64P67 2003 | Dewey Decimal 305.5520973
In this timely book, the first comprehensive study of the modern American public intellectual--that individual who speaks to the public on issues of political or ideological moment--Richard Posner charts the decline of a venerable institution that included worthies from Socrates to John Dewey. Leveling a balanced attack on liberal and conservative pundits alike, he describes the styles and genres, constraints and incentives, of the activity of public intellectuals and offers modest proposals for improving the quality of public discussion in America today. This paperback edition contains a new preface and and a new epilogue.
Revolutionary Passage is a cultural, social, and political history of Russia during its critical period of transformation at the end of the twentieth century. Marc Garcelon traces the history of perestroika and the rise of Vladimir Putin, arguing that the pressure Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms put on the Soviet system gave birth to movements for democratic change. He also shows that the very political arrangements that prompted the fall of Communism also killed hopes for subsequent reform. At the turning point of this political revolution stood Democratic Russia, or DemRossiia, the principal organization of the Russian democratic movement that helped to dismantle the Soviet system and force the Soviet leadership to change course. However, as post-Soviet Russia committed itself to globalization and U.S.-style economic reforms, the country directed itself away from the Democratic reforms called for by organizations like DemRossiia, and such groups collapsed. Revolutionary Passage provides a close examination of the DemRossiia. Garcelon deftly illuminates the rise and decline of this organization, and how the processes of revolutionary change impacted both Russia and the world.
Terry A. Cooney traces the evolution of the Partisan Review—often considered to be the most influential little magazine ever published in America—during its formative years, giving a lucid and dispassionate view of the magazine and its luminaries who played a leading role in shaping the public discourse of American intellectuals. Included are Lionel Trilling, Philip Rahv, William Phillips, Dwight Macdonald, F. W. Dupee, Mary McCarthy, Sidney Hook, Harold Rosenberg, and Delmore Schwartz, among others.
“An excellent book, which works at each level on which it operates. It succeeds as a straightforward narrative account of the Partisan Review in the 1930s and 1940s. The magazine’s leading voices—William Phillips, Philip Rahv, Dwight MacDonald, Lionel Trilling, and all the rest—receive their due. . . . Among the themes that engage Cooney. . . . are: how they dealt with ‘modernism’ in culture and radicalism in politics, each on its own and in combination; how Jewishness played a complex and fascinating role in many of the thinkers’ lives; and, especially, how ‘cosmopolitanism’ best explains what the Partisan Review was all about.”—Robert Booth Fowler, Journal of American History
Combining ethnography, history, and social theory, Dominic Boyer's Spirit and System exposes how the shifting fortunes and social perceptions of German intellectuals in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries influenced Germans' conceptions of modernity and national culture.
Boyer analyzes the creation and mediation of the social knowledge of "German-ness" from nineteenth-century university culture and its philosophies of history, to the media systems and redemptive public cultures of the Third Reich and the German Democratic Republic, to the present-day experiences of former East German journalists seeking to explain life in post-unification Germany. Throughout this study, Boyer reveals how dialectical knowledge of "German-ness"—that is, knowledge that emphasizes a cultural tension between an inner "spirit" and an external "system" of social life —is modeled unconsciously upon intellectuals' self-knowledge as it tracks their fluctuation between alienation and utopianism in their interpretations of nation and modernity.
One of the twentieth century’s most original and influential literary theorists, Stanley Fish is also known as a fascinatingly atypical, polarizing public intellectual; a loud, cigar-smoking contrarian; and a lightning rod for both the political right and left. The truth and the limitations of this reputation are explored in Stanley Fish, America’s Enfant Terrible by Gary A. Olson. At once a literary biography and a traditional life story, this engrossing volume details Fish’s vibrant personal life and his remarkably versatile career.
Born into a tumultuous family, Fish survived life with an emotionally absent father and a headstrong mother through street sports and troublemaking as much as through his success at a rigorous prep school. As Olson shows, Fish’s escape from the working-class neighborhoods of 1940s and 1950s Providence, Rhode Island, came with his departure for the university life at the University of Pennsylvania and then Yale. His meteoric rise through the academic ranks at a troubled Vietnam-era UC-Berkeley was complemented by a 1966 romp through Europe that included drag racing through the streets of Seville in his Alfa Romeo. He went on to become an internationally prominent scholar at Johns Hopkins before moving to Duke, where he built a star-studded academic department that became a key site in the culture and theory wars of the 1980s and 1990s. Olson discusses Fish’s tenure as a highly visible dean at the University of Illinois at Chicago who clashed publicly with the state legislature. He also covers Fish’s most remarkable and controversial books, including Fish’s masterpiece, Surprised by Sin: The Reader in "Paradise Lost," which was a critical sensation and forever changed the craft of literary criticism, as well as Professional Correctness and Save the World on Your Own Time, two books that alienated Fish from most liberal-minded professors in English studies.
Olson concludes his biography of Fish with an in-depth analysis of the contradictions between Fish’s public persona and his private personality, examining how impulses and events from Fish’s childhood shaped his lifelong practices and personality traits. Also included are a chronology of the major events of Fish’s life and never-before-published photos.
Based on hundreds of hours of recorded interviews with friends, enemies, colleagues, former students, family members, and Fish himself, along with material from the Stanley Fish archive, Stanley Fish, America’s Enfant Terrible is a clearly written narrative of the life of an important and controversial scholar.
In Street Archives and City Life Emily Callaci maps a new terrain of political and cultural production in mid- to late twentieth-century Tanzanian urban landscapes. While the postcolonial Tanzanian ruling party (TANU) adopted a policy of rural socialism known as Ujamaa between 1967 and 1985, an influx of youth migrants to the city of Dar es Salaam generated innovative forms of urbanism through the production and circulation of what Callaci calls street archives. These urban intellectuals neither supported nor contested the ruling party's anti-city philosophy; rather, they navigated the complexities of inhabiting unplanned African cities during economic crisis and social transformation through various forms of popular texts that included women's Christian advice literature, newspaper columns, self-published pulp fiction novellas, and song lyrics. Through these textual networks, Callaci shows how youth migrants and urban intellectuals in Dar es Salaam fashioned a collective ethos of postcolonial African citizenship. This spirit ushered in a revolution rooted in the city and its networks—an urban revolution that arose in spite of the nation-state's pro-rural ideology.
Power is the central organizing principle of all social life, from culture and education to stratification and taste. And there is no more prominent name in the analysis of power than that of noted sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Throughout his career, Bourdieu challenged the commonly held view that symbolic power—the power to dominate—is solely symbolic. He emphasized that symbolic power helps create and maintain social hierarchies, which form the very bedrock of political life. By the time of his death in 2002, Bourdieu had become a leading public intellectual, and his argument about the more subtle and influential ways that cultural resources and symbolic categories prevail in power arrangements and practices had gained broad recognition.
In Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals, David L. Swartz delves deeply into Bourdieu’s work to show how central—but often overlooked—power and politics are to an understanding of sociology. Arguing that power and politics stand at the core of Bourdieu’s sociology, Swartz illuminates Bourdieu’s political project for the social sciences, as well as Bourdieu’s own political activism, explaining how sociology is not just science but also a crucial form of political engagement.
This book is the first detailed examination of these four authors as part of a Roman Catholic, counter-modern community of discourse. It is informed by extensive research in the writers' works, scholarship on them, and their personal papers.
More than any other Transcendentalist of his time, Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) embodied the full complement of the movement’s ideals and vocations: author, advocate for self-reform, stern critic of society, abolitionist, philosopher, and naturalist. The Thoreau of our time—valorized anarchist, founding environmentalist, and fervid advocate of civil disobedience—did not exist in the nineteenth century. In this rich and appealing collection, Sandra Harbert Petrulionis untangles Thoreau’s multiple identities by offering a wide range of nineteenth-century commentary as the opinions of those who knew him evolved over time.
The forty-nine recollections gathered in Thoreau in His Own Time demonstrate that it was those who knew him personally, rather than his contemporary literati, who most prized Thoreau’s message, but even those who disparaged him respected his unabashed example of an unconventional life. Included are comments by Ralph Waldo Emerson—friend, mentor, Walden landlord, and progenitor of the spin on Thoreau’s posthumous reputation; Nathaniel Hawthorne, who could not compliment Thoreau without simultaneously denigrating him; and John Weiss, whose extended commentary on Thoreau’s spirituality reflects unusual tolerance. Selections from the correspondence of Caroline Healey Dall, Maria Thoreau, Sophia Hawthorne, Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley, and Amanda Mather amplify our understanding of the ways in which nineteenth-century women viewed Thoreau. An excerpt by John Burroughs, who alternately honored and condemned Thoreau, asserts his view that Thoreau was ever searching for the unattainable.
The dozens of primary sources in this crisply edited collection illustrate the complexity of Thoreau’s iconoclastic singularity in a way that no one biographer could. Each entry is introduced by a headnote that places the selection in historical and cultural context. Petrulionis’s comprehensive introduction and her detailed chronology of personal and literary events in Thoreau’s life provide a lively and informative gateway to the entries themselves. The collaborative biography that Petrulionis creates in Thoreau in His Own Time contextualizes the strikingly divergent views held by his contemporaries and highlights the reasons behind his profound legacy.
Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty traces the vital and varied roles of science through the story of three generations of the eminent Exner family, whose members included Nobel Prize–winning biologist Karl Frisch, the teachers of Freud and of physicist Erwin Schrödinger, artists of the Vienna Secession, and a leader of Vienna’s women’s movement. Training her critical eye on the Exners through the rise and fall of Austrian liberalism and into the rise of the Third Reich, Deborah R. Coen demonstrates the interdependence of the family’s scientific and domestic lives, exploring the ways in which public notions of rationality, objectivity, and autonomy were formed in the private sphere. Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty presents the story of the Exners as a microcosm of the larger achievements and tragedies of Austrian political and scientific life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Whom does society consider an intellectual and on what grounds? Antonio Gramsci’s democratic vision of intelligence famously suggested that “all men are intellectuals,” yet within academic circles and among the general public, intellectuals continue to be defined by narrow, elite criteria.
In this study of four celebrated citizens of the African diaspora—American boxer Muhammad Ali, West Indian Marxist critic C. L. R. James, British cultural theorist Stuart Hall, and Jamaican musician Bob Marley—Grant Farred develops a new category of engaged thinker: the vernacular intellectual. Extending Gramsci’s concept of the organic intellectual, Farred conceives of vernacular intellectuals as individuals who challenge social injustice from inside and outside traditional academic or political spheres. Muhammad Ali, for example, is celebrated as much for his dazzling verbal skills and courageous political stands as for his pugilistic talents; Bob Marley’s messages of liberation are as central to his popularity as his lyrical and melodic sophistication. Neither man is described as an intellectual, yet both perform crucial intellectual functions: shaping how people see the world, oppose hegemony, and understand their own history. In contrast, the careers of C. L. R. James and Stuart Hall reflect a dynamic blend of the traditional and the vernacular. Conventionally trained and situated, James and Hall examine racism, history, and the lasting impact of colonialism in ways that draw on both established scholarship and more popular cultural experiences.
Challenging existing paradigms, What’s My Name offers an expansive and inclusive vision of intellectual activity that is as valid and meaningful in the boxing ring, the press conference, and the concert hall as in academia.
In this lively series of conversations with writer Michel Treguer, René Girard revisits the major concepts of mimetic theory and explores science, democracy, and the nature of God and freedom. Girard affirms that “our unprecedented present is incomprehensible without Christianity.” Globalization has unified the world, yet civil war and terrorism persist despite free trade and economic growth. Because of mimetic desire and the rivalry it generates, asserts Girard, “whether we’re talking about marriage, friendship, professional relationships, issues with neighbors or matters of national unity, human relations are always under threat.” Literary masters including Marivaux, Dostoevsky, and Joyce understood this, as did archaic religion, which warded off violence with blood sacrifice. Christianity brought a new understanding of sacrifice, giving rise not only to modern rationality and science but also to a fragile system that is, in Girard’s words, “always teetering between a new golden age and a destructive apocalypse.” Treguer, a skeptic of mimetic theory, wonders: “Is what he’s telling me true...or is it just a nice story, a way of looking at things?” In response, Girard makes a compelling case for his theory.
The modern-day Renaissance man who
built the conservative movement
The polysyllabic vocabulary, the wit, the charm, the sailing adventures, the spy novels—all of these have become part of the William F. Buckley Jr. legend. But to consider only Buckley’s charisma and ceaseless energy is to miss that, above all, he was committed to advancing ideas.
Now, noted conservative historian Lee Edwards, who knew Bill Buckley for more than 40 years, delivers a much-needed intellectual biography of the man who has been called “the most important public intellectual in the United States in the past half century.” In this concise and compelling book, Edwards reveals how Buckley did more to build the conservative movement than did any other person. Once derided as a set of “irritable mental gestures,” conservatism became, under Buckley’s guidance, a political and intellectual force that transformed America.
As conservatives debate the ideas that should drive their movement, William F. Buckley Jr.: The Maker of a Movement reminds us of the principles that animated Buckley, as well as the thinkers who inspired him. Having dug deep into the voluminous Buckley papers, Edwards also illuminates the profound influence of Buckley’s close-knit family and his unwavering Catholic faith.
Edwards brilliantly captures the free spirit and unbounded energy of the conservative polymath, but he also shows that Buckley did not succeed merely on the strength of a winning personality. Rather, Buckley’s achievements were the result of a long series of quite deliberate political acts—many of them overlooked today.
William F. Buckley Jr.: The Maker of a Movement tells the incredible story of a man who could have been a playboy, sailing his yacht and skiing in Switzerland, but who chose to be the St. Paul of the conservative movement, carrying the message far and wide. Lee Edwards shows how and why it happened—and the remarkable results.
A longtime agitator against war and social injustice, Lawrence Wittner has been tear-gassed, threatened by police with drawn guns, charged by soldiers with fixed bayonets, spied upon by the U.S. government, arrested, and purged from his job for political -reasons. To say that this teacher-historian-activist has led an interesting life is a considerable understatement.
In this absorbing memoir, Wittner traces the dramatic course of a life and career that took him from a Brooklyn boyhood in the 1940s and ’50s to an education at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin to the front lines of peace activism, the fight for racial equality, and the struggles of the labor movement. He details his family background, which included the bloody anti-Semitic pogroms of late-nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, and chronicles his long teaching career, which comprised positions at a small black college in Virginia, an elite women’s liberal arts college north of New York City, and finally a permanent home at the Albany campus of the State University of New York. Throughout, he packs the narrative with colorful vignettes describing such activities as fighting racism in Louisiana and Mississippi during the early 1960s, collaborating with peace-oriented intellectuals in Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, and leading thousands of antinuclear demonstrators through the streets of Hiroshima. As the book also reveals, Wittner’s work as an activist was matched by scholarly achievements that made him one of the world’s foremost authorities on the history of the peace and nuclear disarmament movements—a research specialty that led to revealing encounters with such diverse figures as Norman Thomas, the Unabomber, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Caspar Weinberger, and David Horowitz.
A tenured professor and renowned author who has nevertheless lived in tension with the broader currents of his society, Lawrence Wittner tells an engaging personal story that includes some of the most turbulent and significant events of recent history.
Lawrence S. Wittner, emeritus professor of history at the University at Albany, SUNY, is the author of numerous scholarly works, including the award-winning three-volume Struggle Against the Bomb. Among other awards and honors, he has received major grants or fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Aspen Institute, the United States Institute of Peace, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Among the least-chronicled aspects of post-World War II European intellectual and cultural history is the story of the Russian intelligentsia after Stalin. Vladislav Zubok turns a compelling subject into a portrait as intimate as it is provocative. Zhivago's children, the spiritual heirs of Boris Pasternak's noble doctor, were the last of their kind - an intellectual and artistic community committed to a civic, cultural, and moral mission.