Home » Letters to Power: Public Advocacy Without Public Intellectuals by Samuel McCormick
Letters to Power: Public Advocacy Without Public Intellectuals Samuel McCormick

Letters to Power: Public Advocacy Without Public Intellectuals

Samuel McCormick

Published December 12th 2011
ISBN : 9780271050737
Hardcover
208 pages
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 About the Book 

Although the scarcity of public intellectuals among todays academic professionals is certainly a cause for concern, it also serves as a challenge to explore alternative, more subtle forms of political intelligence. Letters to Power accepts thisMoreAlthough the scarcity of public intellectuals among todays academic professionals is certainly a cause for concern, it also serves as a challenge to explore alternative, more subtle forms of political intelligence. Letters to Power accepts this challenge, guiding readers through ancient, medieval, and modern traditions of learned advocacy in search of persuasive techniques, resistant practices, and ethical sensibilities for use in contemporary democratic public culture. At the center of this book are the political epistles of four renowned scholars: the Roman Stoic Seneca the Younger, the late-medieval feminist Christine de Pizan, the key Enlightenment thinker Immanuel Kant, and the Christian anti-philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. Anticipating much of todays online advocacy, their letter-writing helps would-be intellectuals understand the economy of personal and public address at work in contemporary relations of power, suggesting that the art of lettered protest, like letter-writing itself, involves appealing to diverse, and often strictly virtual, audiences. In this sense, Letters to Power is not only a nuanced historical study but also a book in search of a usable past.