By Russell Jacoby
"Russell Jacoby's fantastic research of our decreased highbrow lifestyles is, in itself, a hopeful signal: could he flourish." -Gore Vidal This provocative e-book chronicles the disappearance of the "public highbrow" in the United States. For over thirty years, the cultural panorama has been ruled by way of the new release of Irving Howe, Daniel Bell, and John Kenneth Galbraith; no more youthful team has arisen to be triumphant them. not like previous intellectuals who lived in city bohemias and wrote for the proficient public, modern day thinkers have flocked to the schools, the place the politics of tenure loom greater than the politics of tradition. In an incisive and passionate polemic, Russell Jacoby examines how gentrification, suburbanization, and educational careerism have sapped the power of yank highbrow existence.
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Additional resources for The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe, 2nd edition
Parking lots, high rises, freeways, and now malls have remade cities, altering as well the cultural tempo. When Henry Pachter, a refu- The Derline ofBohemia gee from Nazism and once a d e v a e of Berlin cafe$, taught college in the United States, he bemoaned that "there were no coEeehouses--and college cafeterias are notoriously uncondueive to The cold-at-heart might retort: there also was no Nazism. The task is to avoid heavy regrets Eor Old World institutions that did not flourish in North America and resist, as well, burdening daify life with the sins, or dory, of the zeitgeist, Vet a thiek-skinned approach that dismisses the quotidian as irrelevant is hardly superior.
Albert Parry, Henry Miller, Malcolm Gawley, and others who announced its demise are all wrong. " He is not "simply indulging the nostalgia of an aging ex-Bohemian trying to immortalize his own youth. . "18 He is not alone, The same year, 1949, a ~enty-bo-year-old John Gruen, later an art critic and journalist, arrives from Iowa City with his wife, Jane Wilson, a painter. As he recounts in his memoirs of the 19rOs, m e P a e ' g Over &W, they settle in a single room, twelve by fifteen feet, on West 12th Street, convinced that only the Village harbon life and creativity.
As he recounts in his memoirs of the 19rOs, m e P a e ' g Over &W, they settle in a single room, twelve by fifteen feet, on West 12th Street, convinced that only the Village harbon life and creativity. " And ol-hers are arriving in the Village in 1849, including a thirteen-year-old Joyce Johnson, later an editor and writer, who seeks and finds bohiemia. Johnson, who corns all the way from 116th Street, heads downtown with her best friend in search of unknown and forbidden territoy. She hss heard from some high school girls-Trotskyists who wear "'datrk clothes and long earrings"-that the Village h a r k s '"romance and adventure," She expects to see a new world but finds only six stragglers in Washington Square Park singing against the falling rain.