Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky

3.84 avg rating
( 1,325 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780060916572: Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky

A fascinating portrait of the minds that have shaped the modern world. In an intriguing series of case studies, Rousseau, Shelley, Marx, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Bertrand Russell, Brecht, Sarte, Edmund Wilson, Victor Gollancz, Lillan Hellman, Cyril Connolly, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Kenneth Tyan, Noam Chomsky, and others are revealed as intellectuals both brilliant and contradictory, magnetic and dangerous.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Conservative historian Paul Johnson wears his ideology proudly on his sleeve in this often ruthless dissection of the thinkers and artists who (in his view) have shaped modern Western culture, having replaced some 200 years ago "the old clerisy as the guides and mentors of mankind." Taking on the likes of Karl Marx, Bertrand Russell, Lillian Hellman, and Noam Chomsky in turn, Johnson examines one idol after another and finds them all to have feet of clay. In his account, for instance, Ernest Hemingway emerges as an artistic hero who labored endlessly to forge a literary style unmistakably his own, but also as a deeply flawed man whose concern for the perfect phrase did not carry over to a concern for the women who loved him. Gossipy and sharply opinionated, Johnson's essay in cultural history spares no one.

Does it really matter that Henrik Ibsen was vain and arrogant, that Jean-Paul Sartre was incontinent? In Johnson's view, it does: these all-too-human foibles disqualify them, and other thinkers, from presuming to criticize the shortcomings of society. "Beware intellectuals," he concludes (though, given the subjects of his book, it seems he means intellectuals only of the left). "Not only should they be kept well away from the levers of power, they should also be objects of particular suspicion when they seek to offer collective advice." Whether one agrees or not, Johnson's profiles are frequently amusing and illuminating, as when he suggests that the only proletarian Karl Marx ever knew in person was the poor maid who worked for him for decades and was never paid, except in room and board, for her labors. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Paul Johnson is a leading historian and journalist whose historical works have been translated into many languages. Born into a Roman Catholic family in Lancashire, England, he has remained a practicing Catholic and has covered every papal conclave since the 1950s. Among his books are Modern Times, A History of the Jews, Intellectuals, The Birth of the Modern, and A History of the English People. Johnson writes a weekly essay for the Spectator and is a frequent contributor to The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers and magazines throughout the world.

He lives in London.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Paul Johnson
ISBN 10: 0060916575 ISBN 13: 9780060916572
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
AMAZINGBOOKDEALS
(IRVING, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW. Fast Shipping. Prompt Customer Service. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # 0060916575BNA

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.60
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Paul Johnson
Published by Harper Perennial (1990)
ISBN 10: 0060916575 ISBN 13: 9780060916572
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial, 1990. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060916575

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 16.46
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Paul Johnson
Published by HarpPeren (1900)
ISBN 10: 0060916575 ISBN 13: 9780060916572
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarpPeren, 1900. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060916575

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 33.97
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Paul Johnson
Published by HarpPeren (1900)
ISBN 10: 0060916575 ISBN 13: 9780060916572
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarpPeren, 1900. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060916575

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 35.24
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds