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Civility and Subversion

Civility and Subversion
The Intellectual in Democratic Society


  • Date Published: November 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521627238

$ 39.99

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About the Authors
  • This 1998 book provides a sophisticated alternative to existing accounts of the role of the intellectual in modern democracy. Arguing that society suffers from a systemic deliberation deficit, Jeffrey Goldfarb explores the potential of the intellectual as democratic agent, at once civilizing political contestation and subverting complacent consensus. The sentimental Leftist view of the intellectual as guardian of democracy and the demonising Rightist view of the intellectual as obstructor of progress, are both shown to be flawed. Instead, intellectuals are portrayed as special kinds of 'strangers' who pay careful attention to their critical faculties, equipping them uniquely to address the most pressing issues of today. Professor Goldfarb deploys classical and contemporary social theory to analyse a diverse set of intellectuals in action, from Socrates in fifth-century Athens to Malcolm X and Toni Morrison in twentieth-century America, and, drawing on personal acquaintance, the political dissidents in Communist and post-Communist Central Europe.

    • Offers a theoretically sophisticated new account of role of intellectual in democratic society
    • Includes case studies of Socrates in Athens, political dissidents in Central Europe, Malcolm X and Toni Morrison in America
    • Draws on author's firsthand experience of political and cultural change in Communist and post-Communist Central Europe
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1998
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521627238
    • length: 264 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Who are the intellectuals?
    3. The civil intellectual and the public
    4. The subversive intellectual and the public
    5. The civil society ideal
    6. The intellectuals and the politics of culture after Communism
    7. The university
    8. Race and discursive disruption
    9. Race and sustained deliberation
    10. Why is there no feminism after Communism?
    11. Civility and subversion in cynical times.

  • Author

    Jeffrey C. Goldfarb, New School for Social Research, New York

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