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Opium of the Intellectuals

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"Raymond Aron's 1955 masterpiece The Opium of the Intellectuals, is one of the great works of twentieth-century political reflection. Aron shows how noble ideas can slide into the tyranny of "secular religion" and emphasizes how political thought has the profound responsibility of telling the truth about social and political reality - in all its mundane imperfections and tragic complexities." "Aron explodes the three "myths" of radical thought: the Left, the Revolution, and the Proletariat. Each of these ideas, Aron shows, are ideological,
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Overview

"Raymond Aron's 1955 masterpiece The Opium of the Intellectuals, is one of the great works of twentieth-century political reflection. Aron shows how noble ideas can slide into the tyranny of "secular religion" and emphasizes how political thought has the profound responsibility of telling the truth about social and political reality - in all its mundane imperfections and tragic complexities." "Aron explodes the three "myths" of radical thought: the Left, the Revolution, and the Proletariat. Each of these ideas, Aron shows, are ideological, mystifying rather than illuminating. He also provides a fascinating sociology of intellectual life and a powerful critique of historical determinism in the classically restrained prose for which he is justly famous."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Aron (b. 1905) was a prominent political and social theorist in France after World War II. In his 1955 , published by Calmann L<'e>vy, he identifies three myths of radical thought as the Left, the Revolution, and the Proletariat. Appended is his 1956 defense of the work, Fanaticism, Prudence, and Faith, modified slightly from the translation that appeared in (Simon and Schuster, 1970). There is no index or bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819145666
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 9/1/1985
  • Pages: 344

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Transaction Edition
Introduction to the Transaction Edition
Foreword
Pt. 1 Political Myths
Ch. I The Myth of the Left 3
Ch. II The Myth of the Revolution 35
Ch. III The Myth of the Proletariat 66
Concerning Political Optimism 94
Pt. 2 The Idolatry of History
Ch. IV Churchmen and the Faithful 105
Ch. V The Meaning of History 135
Ch. VI The Illusion of Necessity 161
The Control of History 191
Pt. 3 The Alienation of the Intellectuals
Ch. VII The Intellectuals and their Homeland 203
Ch. VIII The Intellectuals and their Ideologies 236
Ch. IX The Intellectuals in Search of a Religion 265
The Destiny of the Intellectuals 295
Conclusion: The End of the Ideological Age? 305
Appendix 325
Index 353
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