Frankly, I’m Disappointed I Didn’t Make the List

Prospect Magazine’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals

I have to be honest that I haven’t heard of most of these people. I suppose my diet of almost exclusively English-language texts might have something to do with that. Or the fact that even against my better instincts, I have become a specialist of sorts.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Frankly, I’m Disappointed I Didn’t Make the List

  1. Jonathan

    I didn’t know most of them either and the ones that I did know were related to politics in some way or another. The list was pretty funny. Gore #12? I don’t think so. He shouldn’t even be on the list. Chomsky, I don’t like much of what he says but I guess I can understand him being on the list. Christopher Hitchens? I don’t think so. Tom Friedman? I don’t think so. With that said, I was pleasntly surprised to see Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the list. I don’t know if I would rank her so high though.

  2. Jonathan

    Oops, I missed one. Seeing Paul Krugman on the list gave me a good chuckle too. 🙂 Nice to see Huntington and Fukuyama on the list even though I don’t neccesarily agree with everything they write. That was definitely a strange list though.

  3. For what it’s worth, the list is of public intellectuals, who by definition bring their bookishness to bear on public matters. To be political is a prerequisite, not a disqualification, on this list.

    Perhaps that’s why I didn’t make it. I’ll keep telling myself that. 🙂

    Incidentally, with his pro-Iraq-war credentials, I thought you’d dig old Chris Hitchens. 😉

  4. Jonathan

    Ha! He’s definitely a mixed bag. I’m sure he made the list more for his atheism than for his pro-war stance.

  5. I’d be inclined to say that he’s on the list because of his influence rather than his allegiance to any position.

  6. Nathan:

    Did you read the other article on this list? Basically, the Muslims cheated and that’s why you’ve never heard of the top 10:

    http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=10262

    MF

  7. Jonathan

    Yeah, I was just reading something the other day that was talking about how a lot of the top people on the list publicized the voting which helped them.

  8. If I had to pick one off the list to be my own hero, it would have to be Garry Kasparov. He was the world champion during my brief career in competitive chess, and now he’s using his star power (only in Russia could a chess player have star power) to speak out against Putin. That to me is what a public intellectual is.

  9. Jonathan

    He is definitely a very smart man. I’ve seen him do a couple interviews and I was impressed.

  10. I remember being torn about him as a youngster–on one hand, I had examined some of his games and knew that he was every bit the grandmaster. On the other, he was part of the Soviet machine, and I was supposed to think of him as my enemy.

    Ah, to be an 10-year-old chess geek in the eighties! 😀

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