The Company Of Critics: Social Criticsm And Political Commitment In The Twentieth Century

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Basic Books, Jul 4, 2002 - Political Science - 288 pages
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The Company of Critics provides a fascinating survey of the terrain of social criticism in the last century. Organizing the book as a series of eleven intellectual biographies, Michael Walzer tells not just the dramatic story of the cultural and political radical but also the more personal story of the meaning of criticism to the critic. By looking at the life and work of Julien Benda, Randolph Bourne, Martin Buber, Antonio Gramsci, Ignazio Silone, George Orwell, Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir, Herbert Marcuse, Michel Foucault, and Breyten Breytenbach, Walzer explains the role of the public intellectual in the context of what he identifies as "the triumphs and catastrophes of our time: the two world wars, the struggles of the working class, national liberation, feminism, totalitarian politics."The new edition, featuring a new preface, contains Walzer's thoughts on his own role as a public intellectual and, most important, the challenges that lie ahead for the engaged social critic. With its unique emphasis on life as a proving ground for thought, The Company of Critics is a necessary addition to the literature of social and political engagement both within and outside of the academy.
 

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User Review  - DromJohn - LibraryThing

This is not a book about social criticism, nor a book about the criticisms by the eleven critics. Instead, the book investigates the relationship of social critics to the societies they criticizes ... Read full review

Contents

IV
3
V
29
VI
45
VII
64
VIII
80
IX
101
X
117
XI
136
XII
153
XIII
170
XIV
191
XV
210
XVI
225
XVII
241
XVIII
254
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About the author (2002)

Michael Walzer is Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, and the author of many widely heralded books, including Spheres of Justice, Exodus and Revolution, and The Company of Critics, all available from Basic Books. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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