Russell Jacoby

03 Oct 1994 12:01

American intellectual historian and cultural critic.

Questions. Jacoby and Telos, i.e., what is someone who can write very well doing publishing in a journal like that? (Ans.: He was one of the early members of the Telos group, and at the time his prose was fully down to the journal's standard. Social Amnesia is unreadable.) What does he see in Adorno? How accurate are his diagnoses of American intellectual life (near-totally bankrupt) and American education (collapsing while academic elites fiddle with peripheral ``culture wars'')?

Personal addendum. My father thinks he knew Jacoby, slightly, in the early 1970s in Cambridge, Mass., when my father was a graduate student and Jacoby (if that was him) was working in a radical bookstore. He even goes so far as to claim that he introduced Marx's Theories of Surplus Value to Jacoby, and so to Cambridge Marxism...