The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe

Russell Jacoby, Author Basic Books $18.95 (290p) ISBN 978-0-465-03812-1
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)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-465-03625-7
Paperback - 289 pages - 978-0-374-52175-2
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