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Disjunction and Analysis

Ralf Dahrendorf, 19 February 1981

Sociological Journeys: Essays 1960-1980 
by Daniel Bell.
Heinemann, 370 pp., £12.50, December 1980, 0 435 82069 9
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... not Clausewitz and certain other books – are now somewhat dated. In this distinguished company, Daniel Bell has an undisputed and well-deserved place. Long before The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, he had established himself as one of the world’s foremost social analysts; since then, he has taken his analysis further in The Cultural ...

Hey, Mister, you want dirty book?

Edward Said: The CIA, 30 September 1999

Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War 
by Frances Stonor Saunders.
Granta, 509 pp., £20, July 1999, 1 86207 029 6
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... cast of characters at social events on Morningside Heights: Diana and Lionel Trilling, Daniel Bell, Mary McCarthy, Dwight Macdonald – all of them brilliant, feisty, friendly and endlessly voluble. Some of their hangers-on were third-rate intellectual goons like Arnold Beichmann (former Communist, rabid anti-Communist, now an aged relic of ...

The Moral Solipsism of Global Ethics Inc

Alex de Waal: Human rights, democracy and Amnesty International, 23 August 2001

Like Water on Stone: The Story of Amnesty International 
by Jonathan Power.
Allen Lane, 332 pp., £12.99, May 2001, 0 7139 9319 7
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Future Positive: International Co-operation in the 21st Century 
by Michael Edwards.
Earthscan, 292 pp., £12.99, September 2000, 1 85383 740 7
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East Meets West: Human Rights and Democracy in East Asia 
by Daniel Bell.
Princeton, 369 pp., £12.50, May 2000, 0 691 00508 7
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... This is Michael Edwards’s formulation, and his book, Future Positive, urges them to do better. Daniel Bell rises to this challenge in East Meets West, a series of fictional dialogues about human rights in East Asia. Bell’s East Asian interlocutors express some of the bewilderment felt by the recipients of ...


Gabriele Annan, 7 May 1981

When memory comes 
by Saul Friedländer, translated by Helen Lane.
Faber, 185 pp., £5.50, February 1981, 0 374 28898 4
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... Jewish past. In an essay written in 1961 and recently republished in Sociological Journeys, Daniel Bell says: ‘For me ... to be a Jew is to be part of a community woven by memory.’ Friedländer seems to want to be a Jew in that way too, but because of his assimilated, agnostic family and the vicissitudes of his youth, he has to learn the memory ...

Bravo, old sport

Christopher Hitchens, 4 April 1991

Critical Crossings: The New York Intellectuals in Post-War America 
by Neil Jumonville.
California, 291 pp., £24.95, January 1991, 0 520 06858 0
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... Burnham, Sidney Hook and later Norman Podhoretz. The ‘End of Ideology’ liberal professoriat: Daniel Bell, Nathan Glazer, Lewis Coser. And perhaps most enduring in their contribution, if only because they partook of all wings and of none, the Europeanised cultural and literary Modernists such as Clement Greenberg, Delmore Schwartz, Harold Rosenberg ...

Antidote to Marx

Colin Kidd: Oh, I know Locke!, 4 January 2024

America’s Philosopher: John Locke in American Intellectual Life 
by Claire Rydell Arcenas.
Chicago, 265 pp., $25, October, 978 0 226 82933 3
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... Arthur Schlesinger Jr in 1949 and the appearance in 1960 of The End of Ideology by the sociologist Daniel Bell, America witnessed a decade of conspicuous consensus. It helped that Eisenhower was a centrist, who, though wooed by the Democrats, decided in the end to run for president as a lukewarm Republican. But consensus was also grounded in social ...
Modernity and Identity 
edited by Scott Lash and Jonathan Friedman.
Blackwell, 448 pp., £45, January 1992, 0 631 17585 7
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Fundamentalisms Observed 
edited by Martin Marty and Scott Appleby.
Chicago, 872 pp., $40, November 1991, 0 226 50877 3
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The Post-Modern and the Post-Industrial 
by Margaret Rose.
Cambridge, 317 pp., £35, July 1991, 0 521 40131 3
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Under God: Religion and American Politics 
by Garry Wills.
Simon and Schuster, 445 pp., £17.99, February 1992, 0 671 65705 4
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... addiction to the ‘horror which accompanies the act of profaning’? The explanation offered by Daniel Bell in The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism was that modern culture had not defiled religion itself but the role of religion: art, he argued, had replaced religion as the gatekeeper of culture, but prostituted itself by embracing rather than ...

Many Causes, Many Cases

Peter Hall, 28 June 1990

Confessions of a Reluctant Theorist 
by W.G. Runciman.
Harvester, 253 pp., £30, April 1990, 0 7450 0484 9
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... power. It relegates to the sidelines the panoply of cultural meanings and considerations that a Daniel Bell or Clifford Geertz might employ to explain the direction of society. We see this reflected in Runciman’s masterful essay on the French Revolution. Taking up a number of themes in the recent historiography, he argues that the Revolution was ...

Drowned in Eau de Vie

Modris Eksteins: New, Fast and Modern, 21 February 2008

Modernism: The Lure of Heresy from Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond 
by Peter Gay.
Heinemann, 610 pp., £20, November 2007, 978 0 434 01044 8
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... in 1920. On that occasion Tristan Tzara had read aloud to the audience from a newspaper with a bell clanging in the background so that no one could actually hear him. Like Louis Napoléon’s attempt to emulate his uncle, the post-1945 version of Modernism was less a repeat than a plagiarism of history. My greatest difficulty comes, however, with Gay’s ...

Nutty Professors

Hal Foster: ‘Lingua Franca’, 8 May 2003

Quick Studies: The Best of ‘Lingua Franca’ 
edited by Alexander Star.
Farrar, Straus, 514 pp., $18, September 2002, 0 374 52863 2
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... The cultural strategy of the Reaganite Right was prepared as early as 1976 by Daniel Bell in Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism. Blame the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s – rebellious students, civil rights agitators, wild-eyed feminists – for the grievous decline in public morality, cultural literacy, educational standards and everything else that has gone to hell: blame them and not, say, the cultural contradictions of capitalism ...

Bush’s Useful Idiots

Tony Judt: Whatever happened to American liberalism?, 21 September 2006

... The advertisement was signed by 63 prominent intellectuals, writers and businessmen: among them Daniel Bell, J.K. Galbraith, Felix Rohatyn, Arthur Schlesinger Jr, Irving Howe and Eudora Welty. These and other signatories – the economist Kenneth Arrow, the poet Robert Penn Warren – were the critical intellectual core, the steady moral centre of ...


Geoffrey Hawthorn, 3 December 1992

English Questions 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 370 pp., £39.95, May 1992, 0 86091 375 9
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A Zone of Engagement 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 384 pp., £39.95, May 1992, 0 86091 377 5
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... entities. Middle-sized nation-states of the kind that now exist in most of Western Europe are, as Daniel Bell once put it, too small to deal with the large problems and too large to deal with the small ones. Tinkering with the domestic machinery does not address the central issue. Politicians elsewhere have long since seen this. For Jean Monnet in Paris ...

Modernity’s Undoing

Pankaj Mishra: ‘A Visit from the Goon Squad’, 31 March 2011

A Visit from the Goon Squad 
by Jennifer Egan.
Corsair, 336 pp., £14.99, March 2011, 978 1 78033 028 0
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... of possibilities have become such an accepted fact – not least in the social sciences, from Daniel Bell to Fredric Jameson – that it is easy to forget what a large-scale re-engineering of human lives they have led to. Jennifer Egan, an American writer, is rare for still being able to register incredulity at the weirdness of this process. In her ...

In Your Guts You Know He’s Nuts

Thomas Sugrue: Barry Goldwater, 3 January 2008

The Conscience of a Conservative 
by Barry Goldwater.
Princeton, 144 pp., £8.95, June 2007, 978 0 691 13117 7
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... pundits denounced him and his supporters as far-right zealots. Social scientists, among them Daniel Bell and Seymour Martin Lipset, saw the Goldwaterites as the embodiment of a pathological ‘authoritarian personality’, wholly out of touch with the liberalism they believed was central to the American public. ‘When, in all our history, has ...

Against Responsibility

William Davies, 8 November 2018

Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism 
by Melinda Cooper.
Zone, 447 pp., £24, March 2017, 978 1 935408 84 0
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... terms, AFDC was never a significant drain on public budgets, but neoconservatives such as Daniel Bell argued that it weakened norms of moral responsibility, producing a ripple effect of which inflation was a manifestation. Neoliberals, such as the Chicago economist Gary Becker, believed that families were simply more efficient than the state as a ...

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