The Politics of Truth: Selected Writings of C. Wright Mills

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C. Wright Mills was a radical public intellectual, a tough-talking, motorcycle-riding anarchist from Texas who taught sociology at Columbia University. His three most influential books-The Power Elite, White Collar, and The Sociological Imagination-are considered classics. The first collection of Mills's writings to be published since 1963, The Politics of Truth contains 23 out-of-print and hard-to-find pieces that show his growth from academic sociologist to an intellectual maestro in command of a mature style, a dissenter who sought to inspire the public to oppose the drift toward permanent war. Given the political deceptions of recent years, Mills's truth-telling is more relevant than ever. Seminal papers including "Letter to the New Left" appear alongside lesser-known meditations such as "Are We Losing Our Sense of Belonging?" John H. Summers provides fresh insights in his introduction, which gives an overview of Mills's life and career. Summers has also written annotations that establish each piece's context and has drawn up a comprehensive bibliography of Mills's published and unpublished writings.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Choosing from the plethora of Mills's publications is no easy task. Summers has handled this chore wisely, rejecting a handy potpourri in favor of concentrating on what Mills had to say about a particular problem: the role at intellectuals should play in contemporary society."—The New Republic

"Many of these essays...retain their capacity to inform, instruct, and occasionally even incite.... There isnt a false note in the bunch."—The American Conservative

"John Summers has done yeoman work to give these essays and lectures of Mills the resurrection they richly deserve. The Politics of Truth shows beautifully why Mills was, and remains, inspiring: because he confronted big questions and showed that intellectual work was both an adventure and a moral imperative. A splendid book."—Todd Gitlin, Columbia University

"Half provocateur and half sociologist, C. Wright Mills cuts a wide swathe through the 1950s and early 60s. But it is now more than ever that we need this coruscating foe of cant and complacency. Mills addresses a world as old as today's war and tomorrow's industrialized passivity. Read him!"—Russell Jacoby, author of The Last Intellectuals

"The collection sheds much light on the man who wrote these classics. It stands as a valuable reference and supplement to the life work of a brilliant and daring American intellectual who died too young. Whether you agree or disagree with Mills, the work and the man can provide valuable lessons on what is truly important to us and challenge us to determine for ourselves where each of us should stand in our present epoch."—The Epoch Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195343045
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/11/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John H. Summers is the author of Every Fury on Earth and a Visiting Scholar at the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College.

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Table of Contents

New Man of Power   John H. Summers     3
The Powerless People: The Role of the Intellectual in Society     13
The Intellectual and the Labor Leader     25
Sociological Poetry     33
Contribution to "Our Country and Our Culture: A Symposium"     37
On Intellectual Craftsmanship     43
Thorstein Veblen     63
IBM Plus Reality plus Humanism = Sociology     79
Are We Losing Our Sense of Belonging?     87
The Conservative Mood     95
Mass Society and Liberal Education     107
On Knowledge and Power     125
The Power Elite: Comment on Criticism     139
Science and Scientists     155
A Pagan Sermon to the Christian Clergy     163
The Man in the Middle     173
The Big City     185
Culture and Politics: The Fourth Epoch     193
The Cultural Apparatus     203
The Decline of the Left     213
On Latin America, the Left, and the U.S.     223
Soviet Journal     235
Listen, Yankee! The Cuban Case against the U.S.     243
Letter to the New Left     255
Bibliographical Note     267
The Writings of C.Wright Mills     269
Index     293
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