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American Intellectual History

According to Chomsky, “What was left of the left intelligentsia retreated into the academy, where the tragedy of 1960s cultural politics was replayed as farce. Partly this involved the dominance of identity politics. Its sources were compelling and wholly understandable the desires of women and minorities to vindicate and explore a separate sense of self, independent of the hegemonic standards established by white males.” (Noam Chomsky, 1997 p. 115)
Intellectual history relates quite closely to the history of ideas and philosophy. The central perspective in intellectual history suggests that ideas do not vary in isolation from the individuals that are responsible for creating and using those ideas. It is also important to study the ideas. It is also important to study the environments, culture and lives of any given nation in order to better understand their ideas and notions. In American intellectual history, an unintended quest for alternative identities was the creation of a new type of fragmented politics if interest groups, which seems to be removed from a greater vision of the good society.
It has been argued that the American people seem to be living in a kind of ideal documentary and that this trend must be halted. There is also the perceived culture war of the 1980s and 1990s, which tends to inspire hostility to intellectual elitism. According to author Dionne, “while the political right spent the 1980s and 1990s preaching the gospel of privatization and the virtue of pursuing individual satisfactions, many in the progressive academy engaged in their own form of withdrawal. An aesthetic radicalism replaced political radicalism, and a battle over texts and canons displaced the fight over whose interests would be served by government and whose ideas would define mainstream politics” (Dionne, 1992 p. 73). For decades, American intellectuals have been trumpeting calls like this. It may be that hardly anybody gets the ...Show more


Early intellectuals like Noam Chomsky and Christopher Lasch wrote about the responsibility of intellectuals regarding the War in Vietnam and tended to take Cold War establishment…
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American Intellectual History essay example
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