This provocative book chronicles the disappearance of the public intellectual in America. For over thirty years, the cultural landscape has been dominated by the generation of Irving Howe, Daniel Bell, and John Kenneth Galbraith; no younger group has arisen to succeed them. Unlike earlier intellectuals who lived in urban bohemias and wrote for the educated public, today’s thinkers have flocked to the universities, where the politics of tenure loom larger than the politics of culture. In an incisive and passionate polemic, Russell Jacoby examines how gentrification, suburbanization, and academic careerism have sapped the vitality of American intellectual life.

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