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Jacques Barzun

Cultivating New Audiences: Aristotle—and Adler—for Everybody

This is an 1800 word piece cut from my book’s 1980s chapter, “‘The Poobah of Popularizers’: Paideia, Pluralism, and the Culture Wars, 1978-1988.” In this section, removed during the last possible round of trimming, I argued that Mortimer Adler’s 1978 book, Aristotle for Everybody, relaunched his career as a public intellectual. Although Adler proclaimed himself an Aristotelian in the 1950s, after 20 some years as a neo-Thomist, it was this book that attempted to directly explain what it meant to be a twentieth-century Aristotelian. The decision to cut this piece was very difficult. Aristotle for Everybody signaled a new, highly Read more