What Are Intellectuals Good For? Kindle µ What Are


What Are Intellectuals Good For? [EPUB] ✻ What Are Intellectuals Good For? Author George Scialabba – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Nonfiction Politics Literary Criticism WHAT ARE INTELLECTUALS GOOD FOR appraises a large gallery of twentieth century intellectuals, including Randolph Bourne, Dwight Macdonald, Lionel Trilling, Irvin Nonfiction Politics Intellectuals Good PDF Å Literary Criticism WHAT ARE INTELLECTUALS GOOD FOR appraises a large gallery of twentieth century intellectuals, including Randolph Bourne, Dwight Macdonald, Lionel Trilling, Irving Howe, Isaiah Berlin, William F Buckley Jr Allan Bloom, Richard Rorty, Stanley Fish, Christopher Lasch, Edward Said, Ellen Willis, and Christopher Hitchens It also includes two essays on intellectuals and politics and concludes with one on moral consequences of our species cyber evolution George Scialabba, a columnist for What Are Epub / the Boston Globe and contributor to the Boston Review, Dissent, the American Prospect, and the Nation, is admired by a circle of discerning readers WHAT ARE INTELLECTUALS GOOD FOR , his second essay collection, brings his voice to a larger audience Scott McLemee, the Intellectual Affairs columnist of InsideHigherEd, has contributed a foreword.

    Download Book Best Sellers in PDF format a circle of discerning readers WHAT ARE INTELLECTUALS GOOD FOR , his second essay collection, brings his voice to a larger audience Scott McLemee, the Intellectual Affairs columnist of InsideHigherEd, has contributed a foreword."/>
  • Paperback
  • 252 pages
  • What Are Intellectuals Good For?
  • George Scialabba
  • English
  • 03 December 2017
  • 0978515668

About the Author: George Scialabba

Is a Intellectuals Good PDF Å well known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the What Are Intellectuals Good For? book, this is one of the most wanted George Scialabba author readers around the world.



10 thoughts on “What Are Intellectuals Good For?

  1. Adam Adam says:

    I m grateful for George Scialabba In this collection, he promotes public intellectuals and exquisite writing He writes in favor of economic equality and the defense of democracy against corporate and state power And in the process, he s introduced me to a couple dozen fascinating thinkers with some of the best nonfiction prose I ve ever read.Scialabba better be a stellar writer an interviewer in The Times Higher Education asks, So, given a choice, does Scialabba prefer bad writers who are po I m grateful for George Scialabba In this collection, he promotes public intellectuals and exquisite writing He writes in favor of economic equality and the defense of democracy against corporate and state power And in the process, he s introduced me to a couple dozen fascinating thinkers with some of the best nonfiction prose I ve ever read.Scialabba better be a stellar writer an interviewer in The Times Higher Education asks, So, given a choice, does Scialabba prefer bad writers who are politically congenial or good writers whose politics he dislikes Scialabba replied, I m going to offer a simplified and peremptory answer Better good writers with bad politics than bad writers with good politics The former teach us how to think and feel and imagine the latter merely what to think Knowing how to think is incomparablyimportant Unless most people know how to think, there can t be genuine democracy I love this response, but I didn t at first It took me a long time of mulling it over before I decided to agree with him Lots of Scialabba s insights, like that on good writing, challenged my own ideas, stayed with me, and stimulated new insights And as a result, I ve paid closer attention to the presentation of writers both those with good and bad politics Bad writing and bad speaking, by the way does nothing to advance good ideas and good ideals In fact, I wonder if some of my educated leftist friends are politically inactive partly because of being repelled or repulsed from bad communicators of leftist ideas On the subject of bad writing, Scialabba is most critical of Edward Said s Orientalism, convincingly arguing that he overreaches his analysis Scialabba presents considerable evidence against Said s claims and that his writing is atrocious Scialabba provides damning quotes I haven t read Orientalism, and very well may choose not to, thanks to Scialabba s review However, I have read Said s work on Palestine, which is both well written and monumentally important Scialabba convincingly challenges the political utility of Said s esoteric literary arguments But he is way off in his weird and half assed accusation that Said was exclusively concerned with these arguments without also being politically engaged, when one considers Said s important role in the cause to liberate Palestine Indeed, in an excellent online discussion hosted by Crooked Timber , Michael Berube rightfully argues It is simply implausible to accuse Edward Said of evading real politics And so Scialabba does not throw that pitch instead, he sets, winds up, delivers and stops himself at the last moment, admitting that Said plunged into political debatethan most and leveling the accusation instead at Said s epigoni They re the ones who are giving at the office, yet for their lapses Said is apparently to blame This, I think, is not quite cricket 13.This oversight is a glaring one, in part because, in Berube s words one has to be impressed with Scialabba s uncanny ability to inhabit the books and writers he reviews But what s most impressive, I think, is the scrupulous fairness that Scialabba brings to the task of reviewing 6 The inhabitance that Berube describes really shines in this collection you get a sense that at times, Scialabba better understands the ideas of the thinkers he reviews than they do I also find Scialabba to be incredibly fair, as he is generous to writers with whom he disagrees politically This even handedness approaches weakness, as Nicholas Sabloff points out in his review of the book in the Common Review, as his judgments are sometimes modest all theso surprising, then, is his diss on Said Besides Said, Scialabba reviews a range of intellectuals, from Irving Howe to Christopher Hitchens As a collection, Scialabba s reviews and essays create a fascinating discussion of the value and changing position of the public intellectual He shows us that the historical role of the public intellectual was defined by someone whose primary training and frame of reference were the humanities, usually literature or philosophy, and that they habitually, even if often implicitly, employed values and ideals derived from the humanities to criticize contemporary politics They were generalists they drew, from a generally shared body of culture, principles of general applicability and applied them to facts generally available 5 Why literature Scialabba answers this when he writes, The beginning of political decency and rationality is to recognize others similarity in important respects to oneself that is, to identify imaginatively Which is what one does when reading fiction Literature is, in this sense, practice for civic life 20 21 Scialabba refers to Lionel Trilling s point that the first order moral virtues of progressives like solidarity, compassion, justice are dangerous without the sort of second order intellectual moral virtues from literature He explains that Literature can teach this, perhaps because it has no political designs on us, or because stories get around psychological defenses that often defeat arguments, or because rhythm, harmony, symmetry, and other aesthetic qualities induce a deeper attentiveness 70 I find this kind of a discussion of the role of the humanities to be fascinating I d also like to believe it s true.But Scialabba explains to us that the Old Left style of intellectual described above has largely disappeared, and largely by necessity First of all, with greater access toinformation, it is muchdifficult to be a generalist today, and evenso in the Internet age that arrived shortly after most of these essays Secondly, intellectuals have become professionalized, snatched up by universities, dependent on institutions for their livelihood, and therefore, also, specialized Third, as hegemony evolved in the United States and gave rise to a sort of anti public intellectual those who are employed to propagandize on behalf of the state or corporations, there also arose the need for themuckraking fact finder intellectuals like Chomsky who by no means is literary who nevertheless serve an important function of fighting back against this propaganda Scialabba soberly notes that this may be an inevitable and even desirable change, and further that there is still a noble value, if different, in the contemporary intellectuals work He sums it up best here Consider the legacy of such as Stone, Nader, Chomsky, and Cockburn endless engagements with current deceits causing or threatening immediate suffering to a great many actual people Unlike earlier public intellectuals, they have not written for the ages, but for present efficacy And the price, which they have accepted in all seriousness, will be exacted their writings will not live But their example will 18 An unaffiliated sort of democratic socialist orientation much of it inherited from the classic Old Left intellectuals in the tradition of Dissent magazine informs Scialabba s reviews of the works of the old and new intellectuals alike We come to understand Scialabba s position that if workers can gain economic power, they can make other needed gains A dignified economic existence is primary Like his hero Rorty, he believes that the cultural battles that are largely fought in the academy do nothing to advance the cause of those who suffer most in our country In his introduction to the book, Scott McLemee sums up Scialabba s politics Reconciling the skeptical pragmatism of Richard Rorty and the geopolitical worldview of Noam Chomsky is not a simple project Rarely do you find them treated as two sides of one ideological coin But that seems like a reasonably accurate description of Scialabba s sense of the possible I he were to write a manifesto, it would probably call foreconomic equality, the dismantling of the American military industrial complex, and the end of metaphysics xiii Scialabba is not delusional about the prospects for American socialism, but he offers a modest call for its continued, dogged, advocacy, and I ll end with this quote Howe has anxiously but unflinchingly demanded Can one still specify what the vision of socialism means or should mean After Stalinism and Maoism, it s obvious what socialism doesn t mean Less obviously, perhaps, but just as surely, it doesn t mean merely the electoral triumph of a socialist party, as Mitterand s painful experience shows The only way to answer Howe s question is to gather up fragments from the tradition cries of protest and invocations of solidarity, heroic lives and utopian fantasies, analytic strands and programmatic patches and fuse them imaginatively The resulting unity will be only temporary the ideal will need to be re imagined in every generation But this is how traditions live 85

  2. Jonathan Norton Jonathan Norton says:

    Scialabba, the hero of the CrookedTimber crowd, gives his audience what they want as he plays grand surveyor and judge of the cultural critics and theorists putting them in their place and setting their ideas against a little, but not too much, outside reality This is a book that grumbles about the limits of the academy from the position of a job inside a university, if not an actual teaching role When he jeers at Isaiah Berlin for giving an audience what it wants to hear, I can t help thinki Scialabba, the hero of the CrookedTimber crowd, gives his audience what they want as he plays grand surveyor and judge of the cultural critics and theorists putting them in their place and setting their ideas against a little, but not too much, outside reality This is a book that grumbles about the limits of the academy from the position of a job inside a university, if not an actual teaching role When he jeers at Isaiah Berlin for giving an audience what it wants to hear, I can t help thinking that George is equally guilty of pandering to a marketplace that doesn t like poststructuralism and deconstruction, but doesn t want to return to a full blooded Great Books curriculum, so would like an acceptable middleground voice to confirm its taste.This collection was published in 2009 and already a lot of the concerns the battle of the books , Clinton and Gingrich and the rest of the 90s had faded to near irrelevance Allan Bloom and Stanley Fish are important people in this selection Christopher Hitchens gets a take down for his endorsement of the War On Terror the most recent concern in the book and it s good but not quite up to the standard of the definitive Hitchens critique, by Stefan Collini Collini is an academic cultural historian, and the difference in resources shows up the generalist Scialabba On the other hand Collini is too respectful of Isaiah Berlin, and George does a decent paint job on that particular hollow idol, though he seems unaware he had right wing challengers as well Roger Scruton, for example.Scialabba s real passion seems located even further back than the 80s, it s for the old New York intelligentsia, all those working class Jewish boys who put themselves through City College and got to be big name lecturers invited to the top schools Irving Howe, Sidney Hook this is the source of his respect for the self taught generalist, which seems to be one of Orwell s main distinctions, that puts him in the holy and constantly invoked trinity with Dwight MacDonald and Randolph Bourne Though of course 2 of those old boys had compararatively well off upbringings, and one of them went to a top university.A few months ago I saw a comment on CrookedTimber, in which someone recalled seeing Irving Howe turn up at a left wing conference in the early 90s and talk about nothing but Stalinism, and how it had deceived his generation, boring everyone else present with his windy irrelevance There s a danger George himself could end up that way He does note in passing that the elite schools of American higher education are completely unlike the majority beneath them, all the many small liberal arts colleges and city colleges, the places where some of his heroes started out That might be the most topical point in the book, and we shouldn t worry too much about what s happening at Yale or Brown when the real movement of tomorrow is incubating in Baton Rouge Of course all those great New Yorkers were playing at mimicking their own heroes, far away in Paris and Berlin and Moscow, but with the advantage that their home city wasn t in the battlefields It s easier to think about history if it isn t happening too close by

  3. Nick Edkins Nick Edkins says:

    I expected this to be a book length attempt answering the title question, but that s confined to one essay at the start, which was a bit disappointing.Scialabba s breadth of reading and coherent moral framework which I largely share make him a trustworthy companion in reading the intellectuals he profiles Unfortunately, I ve only read a small fraction of them I m sure I d have gottenout of the book if I was alreadyfamiliar with the subjects.

  4. Chris Chris says:

    Reading this book is like taking a short course not only in the work of the most important contemporary intellectuals, but in the Western philosophical and literary canon itself Scialabba might be the best book critic in the country right now, and his writing exemplifies the power of clear and finely wrought prose I hope to be able to write half as well about books and ideas before I die.

  5. Sharad Pandian Sharad Pandian says:

    George Scialabba is fascinating because his work really is difficult to characterize On one hand, he s reviewing books, but his reviews tend to encompass authors and their oeuvres, rather than just solitary works, allowing him to place things in context and give a sense of their lives as a whole Butimportantly, he s interested in the the ideas themselves, and so instead of summarizes is quite happy to argue with, both against and alongside, those he writes about What this means for his George Scialabba is fascinating because his work really is difficult to characterize On one hand, he s reviewing books, but his reviews tend to encompass authors and their oeuvres, rather than just solitary works, allowing him to place things in context and give a sense of their lives as a whole Butimportantly, he s interested in the the ideas themselves, and so instead of summarizes is quite happy to argue with, both against and alongside, those he writes about What this means for his readers is a collection which is fascinating in itself, and serves as a convenient springboard for future reading.As you read his reviews, a picture starts forming of Scialabba himself He s a dejected leftist, both because of the loss of credibility for communism in the last century, and because the people seem quite happy with their state of affairs for the most part He thinks there are two paths ahead then, either simply agree with Richard Rorty one of his heroes thatwe may have to concede to Nietzsche that democratic societies have no higher aim than what he called the last men the people who have their little pleasures for the day and their little pleasures for the night or hold out hope for a utopian future, even if it isn t possible in our lifetime or even the next, since a utopian project will require far greater social trust and far better human beings than we can dream of for now And Scialabba wants to believe in this latter path.But to recognize that perfection won t arrive for us isn t to yield to the darkness, and he puts forward instead an ideal to strive for truth telling, no matter how unpopular, no matter how against the grain of our far too comfortable with mass production culture He admits that the people who do this aren t particular successful personally or often for their projects, and yet by exploring the lives and works of people who can be thought to have lived this way, he makes a powerful case for their brand of heroism

  6. Nick Nick says:

    The topic the book takes up is interesting what is the role of the intellectual , or someone who writes opinion pieces and works in think thanks However, most of the time is spent lamenting thecentral role of generations past and bringing up examples of very specific individuals without putting them in much context Probably enjoyable if you know a lot of 20th century essayists and want to contemplate their downfall.

  7. Peter Pinelli Peter Pinelli says:

    George Scialabba is a goddamn treasure

  8. Richard Richard says:

    Want a cold splash in the face of intellectual pessimism Check out the essay on The New Inquiry entitled How Bad Is It.I don t know how I stumbled across it probably someone on Facebook linked to it, but then the essay sat open in a browser tab for several days, and I lost track of where it came from First response was head towards TLDR, but the opening paragraph immediately struck a cord Well over a decade ago I started pondering the question of whether the astonishing collection of trou Want a cold splash in the face of intellectual pessimism Check out the essay on The New Inquiry entitled How Bad Is It.I don t know how I stumbled across it probably someone on Facebook linked to it, but then the essay sat open in a browser tab for several days, and I lost track of where it came from First response was head towards TLDR, but the opening paragraph immediately struck a cord Well over a decade ago I started pondering the question of whether the astonishing collection of troubles the world is accumulating could result in a collapse of civilization a new dark ages, essentially The fall of the United States would obviously be necessary for that to occur, and might even be sufficient, given one s conclusions regarding the fragility of the global economy.The essay is only provides a taste of that, and actually the three books he cites by Morris Berman are the obvious follow up But Schilabba s essay is so clearly and pleasantly written, than I hope to squeeze his book of essays into my over stuffed reading queue.Update D uh of course, the person that pointed me to the original essay was Trevor

  9. Melissa Melissa says:

    Well, after slogging through the last half of this book I can t quite say for sure what intellectuals are good for.Except maybe to think and write books.Scialabba has a nice style of writing but I think what makes me go meh about What Are Intellectuals Good Foris a problem on my end Many of the essays in this book are book reviews or political criticism unfortunately, I haven t read the books under consideration and my political acumen is about nil My lack contributed greatly to my inabi Well, after slogging through the last half of this book I can t quite say for sure what intellectuals are good for.Except maybe to think and write books.Scialabba has a nice style of writing but I think what makes me go meh about What Are Intellectuals Good Foris a problem on my end Many of the essays in this book are book reviews or political criticism unfortunately, I haven t read the books under consideration and my political acumen is about nil My lack contributed greatly to my inability to enjoy this book because so much sailed over my head.Which is a pity because the book was hard to come by for several months I think a reader who really enjoys political commentary particularly one with left leaning politics who comes to this book with knowledge of the authors at hand will get farout of the essays than I did

  10. Jonathan Hiskes Jonathan Hiskes says:

    Scialabba chronicles and mourns the passage of the so called public intellectuals of the midcentury Partisan Review, speculating on why we no longer have writers with such sweeping grasp of so much cultural territory I wished he d pressed further on why this sort of sweeping authority now longer seems to work his quick answer is that every field has gottencomplex and specialized and why it matters that our most prominent voices are no longer independent but employed by major media or ac Scialabba chronicles and mourns the passage of the so called public intellectuals of the midcentury Partisan Review, speculating on why we no longer have writers with such sweeping grasp of so much cultural territory I wished he d pressed further on why this sort of sweeping authority now longer seems to work his quick answer is that every field has gottencomplex and specialized and why it matters that our most prominent voices are no longer independent but employed by major media or academic institutions Would David Brooks, Ta Nehisi Coates, or Marilynne Robinson sound significantly different if they were freelance instead of salaried These essays are unapologetically brainy, a moderate pleasure in an age when there s pressure to coat everything in faux populism

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