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Scott McLemee

The Last Shall Be the First

In preparation for my role as moderator of the plenary panel dedicated to rethinking Russell Jacoby’s book The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe since it was first published 28 year ago (see full conference program here), I’ve been reading some of the book’s early reviews. Although the underlying premise of Jacoby’s argument—that for a host of structural reasons most intellectuals had found their way into academia or other large institutions and had thus become professionalized relative to their less attached predecessors—is inarguable, several vigorously disagreed with his lament about such a state of affairs. Read more