Old as the notion of the “New Class” is (the term was coined by anarchist Mikhail Bakunin around 1870), the idea of the ascendancy of an intellectual elite continues to engage, and perplex, social theorists. In Theories of the New Class, Iván Szelényi, one of the most incisive and respected analysts of the intellectual class, and his colleague Lawrence King put New Class theories into a broad historical framework for the first time. Addressing the intellectual history of Marxism and socialism, theories of the increasing role of the state and technocratic elites in capitalism, and theories of contemporary social change, King and Szelényi’s work clearly links the centrality of thinking about intellectual class formation to a variety of theoretical and political projects that have shaped social theory and influenced political realities over the past century. King and Szelényi show that the idea of the New Class has stubbornly entered and reentered the agenda of critical social theorizing throughout the last century. Indeed, they interpret that the last century as a history of projects by different groups of the highly educated—factions of intellectuals, bureaucrats, technocrats, managers, and the left-wing humanistic intelligentsia—to gain ultimate power. A rare empirical discussion of theory, Theories of the New Class invigorates class theories by grounding them in contemporary issues; at the same time, it uses modern polemics to revitalize historical debates on the origins of capitalism.