Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Because you're worth it

Good spot of this excellent piece by Chris Dillow, thanks anonymous commenter.

8 Comments:

Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Off topic, but worth mentioning I think because it demonstrates just how personalised Martin Bright's (and by extension Nick Cohen's) views are.

http://bit.ly/czU3sK

Bright says:

We have a crying need for a new journalistic voice on the intellectual-political left. It can't be possible that the centre-right can sustain Prospect, Standpoint, Total Politics and The Spectator, while the left has no equivalent publication.

I don't really know where to start, though I have left comments over there. I've always viewed Prospect as resolutely Blairite, and the idea of Standpoint as anywhere near the centre defies belief. But Bright doesn't mention the New Statesman while including the much less-read Total Politics (only read by those who receive it for free); he also doesn't mention the LRB. just plain weird - he must know how stupid this makes him look.

And then we see:

Is there something about the umbilical link between US academia and public intellectuals such as Dionne and Kazin (both are professors at Georgetown University) that makes their positions more sustainable?
If so, this is not a model we could adopt in this country until we find academics on the left who can write with the didactic clarity of right-wingers like Niall Ferguson.


Aside from his vociferous support for the Iraq war, I do not understand the Decent hard-on for Ferguson. He strikes me as a fairly limited historian precisely because of his tediously dogmatic nature; in any case he's worked (I hesitate to say 'taught') in the USA for almost 10 years, as have, oh i dunno, Linda Colley, and Simon Schama, etc etc.

Do Decents have to be philistines, and self-consciously partisan?

3/25/2010 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

Ferguson is actually a good historian, but a bloody terrible public intellectual.

3/25/2010 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

I can't really separate the two in his recent work - the Empire book's didacticism put me off, and it was too readily swallowed by those who admire the 'public intellectual' side of Ferguson; the Money one was researched by management consultants and, again, was just too didactic (albeit hastily rewritten following the crash).

3/25/2010 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

But Bright doesn't mention the New Statesman while including the much less-read Total Politics (only read by those who receive it for free); he also doesn't mention the LRB. just plain weird - he must know how stupid this makes him look.

Because these publications have been condemned.

3/25/2010 11:35:00 AM  
OpenID yorksranter said...

Here's yer new journalistic voice: Dissent wants to "bring together UK and US progressives" with a new blog.

The roster includes Alan NTM, Martin Bright, and Michael Walzer. "The thing's hollow, it goes on forever...and oh my God! It's full of Decents!"

3/25/2010 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are some big gaps in Ferguson's history. _Pity of War_, for example, has some holes in it, largely because it's written in the style of AJP Taylor. "You all think _this_, don't you? But I can show you that it was actually like _that_, in ways which both flatter your preconceptions and show you how clever I am."

Chris Williams

3/25/2010 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

Oh my god, that is perhaps the worst blog I have ever seen.

3/25/2010 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Witchsmeller Pursuivant said...

How very dare you dd? From the advertising pages of Dissent;

"Dissent ranks among the handful of political journals read most regularly by U.S. intellectuals. Each issue features incisive political and cultural commentary, plus the most sophisticated coverage of European politics you'll find anywhere outside Europe."

AND the E-newsletter is sent bi-weekly to a list of over 2000 contacts.

[/snigger]

3/25/2010 09:49:00 PM  

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