Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America
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Stupid is the new smartÂbut it wasnât always so
Popular culture has divorced itself from the life of the mind. Who has time for great books or deep thought when there is Jersey Shore to watch, a txt 2 respond 2, and World of Warcraft to play?At the same time, those who pursue the life of the mind have insulated themselves from popular culture. Speaking in insider jargon and writing unread books, intellectuals have locked themselves away in a ghetto of their own creation. It wasnât always so. Blue Collar Intellectuals vividly captures a time in the twentieth century when the everyman aspired to high culture and when intellectuals descended from the ivory tower to speak to the everyman. Author Daniel J. Flynn profiles thinkers from working-class backgrounds who played a prominent role in American life by addressing their intellectual work to a mass audience. Blue Collar Intellectuals tells the fascinating story of:he unschooled hobo who migrated from skid row anonymity to White House chats with the president and prime-time TV specials. Blue Collar Intellectuals tells the fascinating story of:
ÂThe scandalous teacher-student romance that spawned a half-century labor of love in writing the history of the world.
ÂThe Ivy League Ph.D. who held neither a high school nor college degree, and fittingly launched a renaissance in reading the great books outside of formal schools.
ÂThe scholarship student who experienced the free market firsthand waiting tables and peddling socks, and who became one of capitalismâs most influential exponents.
ÂThe impoverished outcast who became the poet of the pulps, elevating millions of readers along with heretofore marginal genres.
Guiding us through a world now vanished, Flynn causes us to look anew at our own digital age and its nostrums: Video gaming is just a new form of literacy, Reality shows . . . Challenge our emotional intelligence, and Who cares if Johnny canât read? The value of books is overstated. Blue Collar Intellectuals shows us how much everyone intellectual and everyman alike has suffered from mass cultureâs crowding out of higher things and the eliteâs failure to engage the masses.
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