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BookReviews 145 of 1795, which Crowley says ushered in a "a twelve-year moratorium on the priority of commercial policy in national politics . . . and sanctioned the Hamiltonian view that the patterns of Anglo-American trade largely resulted from market relations rather than policy, and it repudiated commercial discrimination " (168). Included in this slim volume is a helpful "Historiographical Note" (201-208) that implicitly indicates the book's importance. Crowley discusses at length the hot debate that has raged among historians for more than a decade regarding "classicalrepublicanism" as a paradigm of the revolutionary era, and its alleged relevance for the establishment of a liberal political economy in the early Republic. A. R. Riggs McGill University •••••• Thomas Bender. Intellect and Public Life: Essays on the Social History of Academic Intellectuals in the United States. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press. 1993. Pp. xix + 179. Rife with speech codes and sex codes, jargon and esoterica, careerism and selfrighteousness , the modem professoriate languishes. Critics, including Russell Jacoby in The Last Intellectuals (Basic Books, 1987) and Richard Rorty in "Intellectuals in Politics" (Dissent, Fall 1991), have catalogued these and other sins. Thomas Bender goes one step further, offering an historical analysis that explainswhy academia parades as a calling, but is in fact a profession. This matvellous collection of papers, delivered over twenty years, attributes the new academic careerism to changing social structures and intellectual trends. Bender treats academic culture as the product of historical experience, emphasizing that there is nothing "inherent" in the way we structure knowledge or employ intellectuals (140). A pioneer in linking intellectual and urban history , Bender roots his explanations in cities, particularly New York City. He argues that urban crises and the dislocating effect of industrialization transformed the role of intellectuals and the organization of knowledge. Bender began his career as a revisionist, criticizing the Whiggish celebration of modem academic professionalism exemplified by Richard Hoftstadter's "The Revolution in Higher Education," in Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr and Morton 146 CanadianReviewof American Studies White's Paths of American 11zought(Boston, 1963). Eventually, Bender rejects his fellow revisionists' obsession with social pathology in urban history, as well as their divorce of high culture "from other levels of culture or from social and political life" (xi). He recognized the democratic potential in today's transformed "public sphere" (132). Intellect and Public Life balances scholarship with social criticism. It begins with abstractions, eventually building into a trenchant critique of academic obscurantism. The first three essays explore academic culture's nineteenthcentury origins, explaining how intellectuals withdrew from generalized discourse as the industrializing city grew more chaotic. Intellectuals went from the "civic professionalism" of being leading gentlemen in an intimate polity, to the "disciplinary professionalism" of being yet another group of experts protecting their credentials (6). This shift created professional disciplines, but an "impoverished public culture" (46). Despite this fragmentation, some professors sought an off-campus audience. Bender's first of four essays on the twentieth century examines the social scientist and banking heir E. R. A. Seligman, a transition figure between the gentlemen of yesteryear and the careerists of today. To please university administrators and protect professional prerogatives, Seligman advocated the institutionalization of behind-the-scenes expert authority over repeated appeals to mass opinion. Charles Beard, on the other hand, deemed "scholarship and public activity ... inseparable" (103). Beard feared that the "technical concerns" of research would "suffocate the movement" for reform (101). He spent much of his career outside the groves of academe, a self-described "statesman, without portfolio" (103). The essay on Beard is particularly compelling. It helps rescue Charles Beard from the clutches of his classicAn Economic Interpretation of the Constitution (1913). Beard, Bender reminds us, was originally a "municipal expert" wondering "how humans can use their knowledge to come to terms with the conditions of modern urban and industrial life" (93). Bender uses Beard to show how scholars can balance "a subjective commitment to values and a professional commitment to the rules of evidence" (105). Bender's essay on the literary critic Lionel Trilling works less well in this collection. It focuses more on the idiosyncratic "historical Trilling" (106) and less on Trilling's historical context. Bender did not revise these essays substantially...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-114X
Print ISSN
0007-7720
Pages
pp. 145-147
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Open Access
No
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