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ERIC Number: EJ832061
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb-13
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
A New Day for Intellectuals
Delbanco, Andrew
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n23 pB8 Feb 2009
Soon after election day, the columnist Nicholas D. Kristof wrote in "The New York Times" that the "second most remarkable thing" about the election was that "American voters have just picked a president who is an open, out-of-the-closet, practicing intellectual." Surely, one of the secrets of President Obama's rhetorical power is his ability to draw on the national history for inspiration even as he acknowledges, with vividness and fervor, the tragedies and travesties of the past. He thereby offers young people a tradition to which they can lay claim without embarrassment but also without uncritical reverence. That balance between the curatorial and the critical has always been essential if humanistic education is to have power and meaning for the young. Yet in recent decades the academic humanities have been overwhelmingly ironic and iconoclastic, and thereby failed to sustain the balance--one reason, the author suspects, why people have lost respect in universities and in society at large, although the author believes people are beginning to wake up to the problem, especially as young scholars succeed the baby-boom generation exhausted by the culture wars. In this article, the author contends that the election has opened the door to education and expertise, but academics will have to earn respect.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A