Review: Nervous Rapprochements

Fromm, Harold. "Nervous Rapprochements." The Hudson Review 41, no. 2. 1988.


THAT HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS HAS DONE UP Gertrude Himmelfarb’s new collection in noteworthy style-elegant dust jacket, handsome binding, heavyweight antique-white paper, attractive typefaces, and at a relatively low price for a university press hardbound-all of this is saying something, and what it says to me is that this is a gesture of mediation between the academy and the outside world. It is one way, at any rate, of responding to the perennially bothersome question, Who will oversee the overseers? For if our intellectual life has indeed been taken over by the academy, and if what the Marxists say about power and self-interest is really true (“hegemony,” in the lingo of the pros), then all the more rea- son for the ordinary, general, or common reader to be given as many encouragements as possible to keep tabs on the guardians of our culture.

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