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Billy Budd

Intellectual History, Novels of Politics and the Politics of Novels

I’m among those who think intellectual history is an approach more than a subject matter. It’s the study of people thinking or expressing ideas, whoever those people were and wherever they happened to be. But there is some disagreement about this, whether explicit or implicit, when it comes to the books and articles intellectual historians produce. (I should admit that I’ve grown tired of talk about what intellectual history is, so this is my hit-and-run attempt to move on from that discussion.) It stands to reason that the broad approach I describe here—where intellectual history is merely people thinking and Read more