Review: Frank Furedi’s “Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone?”

frank furedi where have all the intellectuals goneFuredi’s premise is that the instrumentalisation of the intellectual, his/her replacement by the academic expert, the commercialisation of universities and the repackaging of the arts and culture as being good for the Common Person’s self-esteem and mental health issues are all symptomatic of a created inability to repect and appreciate culture/ideas/politics. I have a lot of sympathy with Furedi’s position – many have been my rants about my Mickey Mouse post-graduate studies in this world of credencialism – but I admit I find arguments on the sacredness of art, culture, literature, intellectualism, etc. not entirely convincing. I find it hard to value, for example, doctoral lectures on the history of Australian lollies, the farcical nature of academic studies in order to gain the all-important Piece of Paper in Something, the preciousness of culture to be maintained at all cost. But I find his arguments largely sound, and I appreciated the fact that someone had taken a public, reasoned position on the issue. Furedi presents no solutions to the Demise of the Intellectual, presumably that’s the job of some other, more pragmatic academic. Recommended,

Where it came from: DCo’s Bookshelf, inspired to pick up by RW’s recommendation
Time and manner of reading:
Armchair, bed, hitching, pub and theatre reads
Where it went: Home
Reminds me of/that:
Who I’d recommend it to: Cultural and intellectual malcontents seeking the arguments to support their irritation with the world
Also reading: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; The Politics of Ecstasy by Timothy Leary; Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier