Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky

By Paul Johnson
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Intellectuals by Paul Johnson uncovers the flawed moral character and harmful influence of some of history's most prominent intellectuals. This thought-provoking work challenges the commonly held perception that intellectuals are the purveyors of knowledge and enlightenment.

Johnson meticulously examines the lives and beliefs of influential figures such as Rousseau, Marx, Tolstoy, Hemingway, and Sartre, revealing their deep-seated flaws, including hypocrisy, toying with truth, and leading destructive lives. He argues that these intellectuals often lack practical skills, empathy, and common sense, rendering them ill-suited to solving the real-world issues they so fervently discuss.

The author exposes the disconnect between intellectual theories and their societal impact, showcasing how ideas can be used to justify tyranny, violence, and suffering. Johnson delves into various fields, including politics, literature, and philosophy, providing an insightful analysis of how intellectuals have shaped history and influenced public opinion.

By meticulously critiquing the moral character and lasting legacy of key intellectuals, Paul Johnson encourages readers to challenge blind admiration and scrutinize the ideas put forth by these influential figures. Intellectuals invites readers to critically evaluate the role of intellectuals throughout history and ponder the dangers inherent in the elevation of ideas above practicality and morality.
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