War and the Ivory Tower: Algeria and Vietnam

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In War and the Ivory Tower, David L. Schalk explores the public role of the intellectual in times of national crisis. He compares American responses to the Vietnam War with French responses to the Algerian War, finding many similarities in the way intellectuals voiced their outrage at the policies of their governments. At a time when national crises abound but protest is out of fashion, and intellectuals are possibly a dying species, this book presents a needed reexamination of what it means for intellectuals to...
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Overview


In War and the Ivory Tower, David L. Schalk explores the public role of the intellectual in times of national crisis. He compares American responses to the Vietnam War with French responses to the Algerian War, finding many similarities in the way intellectuals voiced their outrage at the policies of their governments. At a time when national crises abound but protest is out of fashion, and intellectuals are possibly a dying species, this book presents a needed reexamination of what it means for intellectuals to speak out on issues of international importance.
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Editorial Reviews

History News Network - Lawrence S. Wittner

“Schalk has written a masterly work, which has stood up extraordinarily well in the years from its initial publication to this new edition, which appeared in late 2005. His careful style, thorough research, and judicious conclusions make this an excellent study of intellectual engagement. Its relevance goes beyond the crises of conscience in France and the United States over their governments' brutal wars in the Third World to the role of intellectuals in modern society. . . . As David Schalk shows us, a sensitive and forthright historian can illuminate the darkened terrain of the past and of the present.”—Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network
Robert O. Paxton

War and the Ivory Tower is even more timely and important than ever, and should be on every American's night table (not making for sound sleep).”—Robert O. Paxton, Historian and Professor Emeritus, Columbia
Choice

“[Schalk] has written a seminal and, at times, a painfully important study of the role of intellectuals and political engagement. His narrative explores with meticulous objectivity the intellectual commitment to the national traumas of Algeria and Vietnam. . . . This book is required reading for the entire academic community.”—Choice
Modern and Contemporary France

“With its noble aim of permitting ‘amnesty without amnesia,’ Schalk’s scrupulously researched, extensively annotated, and yet readily accessible study is strongly to be recommended to all those with an interest in the history of these two conflicts.”—Modern and Contemporary France
History News Network

“Schalk has written a masterly work, which has stood up extraordinarily well in the years from its initial publication to this new edition, which appeared in late 2005. His careful style, thorough research, and judicious conclusions make this an excellent study of intellectual engagement. Its relevance goes beyond the crises of conscience in France and the United States over their governments' brutal wars in the Third World to the role of intellectuals in modern society. . . . As David Schalk shows us, a sensitive and forthright historian can illuminate the darkened terrain of the past and of the present.”—Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network

— Lawrence S. Wittner

Choice

“[Schalk] has written a seminal and, at times, a painfully important study of the role of intellectuals and political engagement. His narrative explores with meticulous objectivity the intellectual commitment to the national traumas of Algeria and Vietnam. . . . This book is required reading for the entire academic community.”—Choice

Modern and Contemporary France

“With its noble aim of permitting ‘amnesty without amnesia,’ Schalk’s scrupulously researched, extensively annotated, and yet readily accessible study is strongly to be recommended to all those with an interest in the history of these two conflicts.”—Modern and Contemporary France

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Schalk The Spectrum of Political Engagement offers a comparative analysis of domestic opposition to France's Algerian war and America's Vietnam war, showing how the intelligentsia in both countries expressed disapproval in similar ways. He notes that Jean-Paul Sartre's 1960 signing of the ``Manifesto of the 121'' was not only a turning point in the French antiwar movement but directly inspired the ``Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority'' in its American counterpart seven years later. Schalk makes the unsupported charge that President Lyndon Johnson ``took steps, perhaps out of spite,'' to prove that antiwar activism would have the opposite effect of what was intended. Some readers may wonder what the author means by ``the intellectual elite;'' nor does the author explain how the influence of that ``elite'' on the conduct of the 1954-62 war in Algeria and the 1964-75 war in Vietnam was more significant than that of the ``non-elite.'' Photos. Sept.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803293434
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


David L. Schalk is Kenan Professor of History, emeritus, at Vassar College. Benjamin Stora is a professor of Maghribi history at the National Institute of Oriental Civilizations and Language in Paris. His works include Algeria, 1830–2000: A Short History. George C. Herring is the Alumni Professor of History at the University of Kentucky and the author of America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950–1975.
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