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Absent Minds


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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Question of Intellectuals Part One: The Terms of the Question 1: The History of a Word 2: A Matter of Definition Part Two: Fonder Hearts 3: Anglo-Saxon Attitudes 4: Of Light and Leading 5: Highbrows and Other Aliens 6: The Long 1950s I: Happy Families 7: The Long 1950s II: Brave Causes 8: From New Left to Old Chestnut Part Three: Comparative Perspectives 9: In their Natonal Habitat 10: Greener Grass: Letters from America 11: The Peculiarities of the French 12: The Translation of the Clerks Part Four: Some Versions of Denial 13: Clerisy or Undesirables: T. S. Eliot 14: Professional Cackling: R. G. Collingwood 15: Other People: George Orwell 16: Nothing to Say: A. J. P. Taylor 17: No True Answers: A. J. Ayer Part Five: Repeat Performances 18: Outsider Studies: The Glamour of Dissent 19: Media Studies: A Discourse of General Ideas 20: Long Views I: Specialization and its Discontents 21: Long Views II: From Authority to Celebrity? Epilogue: No Elsewhere

About the Author

Stefan Collini is Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Clare Hall. A frequent contributor to The Times Literary Supplement, The London Review of Books, and other periodicals both in Britain and the USA, his previous books include Public Moralists (1991), Matthew Arnold: a Critical Portrait (1994), and English Pasts (1999). He is a Fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Historical Society.


`Review from previous edition Stefan Collini's Absent Minds provided an intriguing analysis of the question of intellectuals in Britian during the twentieth century...a superb, well-writtian book with few discernible flaws...Collini has tackled a complex subject in an imaginative and compelling fashion, and Absent Minds will only enhance his reputation as the leading schloar of British intellectual history.' Michael D. Stevenson russel:the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies `Complex and challenging work.' Times Higher Education Supplement `Absent Minds is a tour de force by a scholar and critic at the height of his powers' James Wilsdon, Financial Times `Absent Minds is an intriguing, sometimes illuminating, book written with elegance and elan.' David Stack, The English Historical Review `Stefan Collini promises a panoramic view of British intellectuals in the 20th century ... with contemporary disquisitions on "media studies" and celebrity. Collini is expert at the urbane insertion of a dagger: Should be provocative fun.' Steven Poole, The Guardian `Collini should be praised for his rigour and integrity....Absent Minds is a provocative and impressive read.' Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Telegraph `This magnificently perceptive survey of the British intellectual caste will prove hard to outstrip as the definitive account of its subject' Terry Eagleton, New Statesman, reprinted in Guardian `a frequently brilliant survey' Mark Bostridge, Independent on Sunday `As a history of thinking about intellectuals, Absent Minds is a valuable study' Kenan Malik, Sunday Telegraph `...a splendidly challenging book' Bernard Bergonzi, The Tablet `clever and entertaining revisionist history....Absent Minds brilliantly exemplifies the sort of human, intelligent and accessible critique he so eloquently advocates' Michael Saler, TLS `...splendid new book...' Timothy Garton Ash, The Guardian `...[a] magisterial study...Collini is a skilled portraitist and provides us with some judicious, vividly detailed cameos of such figures as Collingwood, T S Eliot, Orwell, A J P Taylor and Freddie Ayer...this magnificently perceptive survey of the British intellectual caste, with a handful of French and American thinkers thrown in for good measure, will prove hard to outstrip as the definitive account of its subject. ,,,It is a stylish, finely analytical study... his literary style combines journalism with erudition, in the best manner of the tradition he investigates... it is a superb distillation of several decades of research and reflection.... this magnificently perceptive survey of the British intellectual caste, with a handful of French and American thinkers thrown in for good measure, will prove hard to outstrip as the definitive account of its subject.' Terry Eagleton, New Statesman `Absent Minds is first rate...immensely authoritative' Winston Fletcher, THES `a rich, subtle and complex book, which is a constant stimulus to thought...full of witty phrases' Robert Skidelsky, Prospect

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