What ever happened with that liberal intellectual “boom” of the 1980s and 1990s? In The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual, Eric Lott — author of the prizewinning Love and Theft — shows that the charter members of the “new left” are suffering from a condition that he has dubbed “boomeritis.” Too secure in their university appointments, lecture tours, and book deals, the once rising stars of the liberal elite — including Richard Rorty, Todd Gitlin, Michael Lind, Paul Berman, Greil Marcus, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. — have drifted away from their radical moorings toward the political center. At once a chronicle of recent intellectual life and a polemic against contemporary liberalism’s accommodations of the conservative status quo, The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual eviscerates the complacency that has seeped into the politics of the would-be vanguard of American intellectual thought. Lott issues a wake-up call to the great public intellectuals of our day and challenges them to reinvigorate political debate on campus, in their writing, and on the airwaves.
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