- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Revised edition (May 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061253170
- ISBN-13: 978-0061253171
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 92 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky Revised Edition
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About the Author
Paul Johnson is a historian whose work ranges over the millennia and the whole gamut of human activities. He regularly writes book reviews for several UK magazines and newspapers, such as the Literary Review and The Spectator, and he lectures around the world. He lives in London, England.
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As for the accuracy of Johnson's portrayals of these men and women that will be for the reader to decide. Suffice it to say Johnson is no different than any other scholar. Other reviews have noted that he approaches his subject matter with his biases in tow. Of course, this puts him in good company with all scholars. The same incongruities of profession and practice could be leveled at any thinker, atheist or theist, conservative or liberal.
The greatest value of the book, in my opinion beyond the highlighting of the depraved lives of certain revered thinkers, is its raising of a more profound question; how does what one thinks effect how one acts? Often times I wasn't struck with the inconsistency between belief and private action so much as I was by what public actions were taken in light of openly stated beliefs.
Johnson reminds us then of the power of beliefs over the individual who holds them. And, as is too often the case, the power they have over others, often to their detriment. Ultimately, this serves as a sober warning to the reader to examine their beliefs and the effects they have.
The scholarship is thorough. The subject is engaging, and the insight is superb.
I look forward to re-reading this book many times.
...and now the question is "who is the more punchable,
Paul Johnson exposes them as thoroughly disgusting, sociopathic leeches in their personal lives. It is possible to be an obnoxious person and still do great good in the world. However, it is gratifying to discover that some of those who have been nursemaids to so much evil are themselves petty, dirty and evil. I wouldn't want any of them as tenants, neighbors or house guests.
Most recent customer reviews
While Johnson's writing style is beautiful and his explanation of great thinkers entertaining, this is, in short, a semi-fascist,...Read more