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S-USIH 2015 conference

The Last Paperback Intellectuals

Anyone who attended the plenary this weekend on Russell Jacoby’s The Last Intellectuals, which was just one part of a vigorous and immensely pleasurable conference, knows that Leo Ribuffo in particular, but Claire Potter and Jonathan Holloway as well, were unsparing in their critiques of that book’s narrow vision of who an intellectual can be. Drawing from their own life experiences, Potter and Holloway demonstrated the intellectual vitality of communities for which Jacoby’s argument simply had no time and no apparent inclination to see in 1987. Ribuffo’s critique was in some ways more direct: Jacoby’s definition of “intellectual” was merely Read more