After The Last Intellectual
Twenty years ago this fall, Russell Jacoby’s The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe mourned the death of the freelance thinker and examined its fresh corpse. but did we misread Jacoby’s autopsy?
The Last Intellectuals
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In 1997, writing in the journal Contemporary Sociology, Russell Jacoby passed along the pithy advice a literary agent once gave him. “Put ‘Intellectuals’ in your book title,” he was told, “and kiss sales good-bye.” Jacoby ignored the advice, or defied it, and wrote The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe, published twenty years ago this fall. The book did well, going into a second printing within