France has long had a robust history of public intellectuals—Renaissance essayists such as Michel de Montaigne, Enlightenment philosophes such as Voltaire, and modern philosophers such as Sartre. Tony Judt and other French historians have traced the developments in modern French intellectual history and philosophy.
Robert Zaretsky, a French historian, now adds a commentary on the current state of French public intellectuals in a review of Pascal Boniface’s Les Intellectuels Faussaires
(“The Counterfeit Intellectuals”). Zaretsky’s review is published in the Chronicle of Higher Education as a selection for subscribers only, but may be accessed through most university libraries’ online databases.
Graduate students in French history and literature courses may be interested in this story.