The Betrayal of the Intellectuals
by Julien Benda

Worthwhile. An indictment of modern intellectuals who have heralded the rise of nationalism, patriotism, militarism, conquest, glory, class conflict, and war. Disinterested contemplation and the life of reason are denigrated by modern intellectuals.

One glaring contradiction in this book is that Benda maintains that intellectuals should be above worldly and practical affairs and that today's intellectuals have betrayed their role, yet Benda is obviously upset by this trend toward nationalism and war and he is not indifferent to cruelty, hatred, racism, conquest, and chauvinism. So Benda also has betrayed his own ideal of the disinterested observer.

Year Read: 1973

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