Features September 1986
Anti-Communism and the Sontag circle
On the Sontag circle.
It was to be expected that the collapse of the intellectual Left in France—the virtual extinction there of Marxism and its ideological variants as a source of fashionable ideas—would sooner or later be reflected in the attitudes of those American intellectuals who habitually take their political cues from Paris. The only question that remained to be answered was: What form would this inevitable shift in political attitudes take on this side of the Atlantic? It remained to be seen, too, how widespread the effect of this shift would be when it came. Would it, for example, make any headway in the American academy, or were we going to have to wait for an entire generation of tenured révoltés to be retired from the scene before some semblance of intellectual enlightenment could be restored to the American professoriat?
At this writing, alas, the prospect of any significant...
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