“It is rich, quirky, erudite, digressive, and polemical. . . . Partisan in its claims for disinterestedness, it is ruthless in its defense of intellectual high-mindedness. . . . [G]iven the horrific events that unfolded in the decades following its publication, Benda’s unremitting attack on the politicization of the intellect and ethnic separatism cannot but strike us as prescient. And given the continuing echo in our own time of the problems he anatomized, the relevance of his observations to our situation can hardly be doubted.”
—Roger Kimball, The New Criterion
Julien Benda (1867–1956) was a novelist and critic. Among his other books are The Yoke of Pity and Uriel’s Report.
Roger Kimball is co-editor and publisher of The New Criterion, president and publisher of Encounter Books, and an art critic for the London Spectator and National Review.
It's a really interesting perspective about how the role of intellectuals has changed. It might not be a popular way to look at things, at how we got where we are right now, but... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Michael J. Ryan
A must for forward thinking individuals. As relevant today as it was when it was written. A hidden-in-the-vaults gem. Must read.Published 14 months ago by TC
It's history repeating itself when intellectuals representing traditional liberalism sell out society is in trouble. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Stephens Ruggiero
This was a rotten book when it was first written and it remains a rotten book today. Its originally purposes are largely forgotten but it seems to have inexplicably become a... Read morePublished on April 17, 2007 by Mark bennett
Well, the title is certainly suggestive. Just who are the intellectuals (or "clercs," as Julien Benda calls them)? And what (or whom) are they betraying? Read morePublished on March 2, 2007 by Jill Malter
I am alarmed by Amazon.com's links to "similar" right-wing books. The conservative thrust of other customer reviewers is flat-out ignorant. Read morePublished on July 12, 2006 by Ralph Dumain