The Politics of Truth: Selected Writings of C. Wright Mills by John SummersThe Politics of Truth: Selected Writings of C. Wright Mills by John Summers

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

byJohn Summers

Paperback | September 22, 2008

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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. Mills's three most influential books--The Power Elite, White Collar, and The Sociological Imagination--were originally published by OUP andare considered classics. The first collection of his writings to be published since 1963, The Politics of Truth contains 23 out-of-print and hard-to-find writings which show his growth from academic sociologist to an intellectual maestro in command of a mature style, a dissenter who sought toinspire 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 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annotations that establish each piece's context and has drawn up a comprehensive bibliography of Mills's published and unpublished writings.
John Summers is with the University of Rochester, USA.
Title:The Politics of Truth: Selected Writings of C. Wright MillsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.1 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:September 22, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195343042

ISBN - 13:9780195343045

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from On Crackpot Realism Under-studied but profoundly influential intellectual of the 20th century. No grand theories, or metaphysical insights, C. Wright Mills just tells it like it is. This new volume of letters, speeches, articles, and interviews is a terrific addition to Wright's distinguished publishing record. Summers includes a short introductory essay on Mills which is mostly biographical. Beyond that, I found his polemics against Daniel Bell's "end of ideology" and tribute to Thorstein Veblen most insightful. Throughout the essays, Mills explores some of his familiar sociological insights including 'crackpot realism', 'power elite', and 'cheerful robots'. What is not appreciated as much I believe is Mills's foresight in the "New Left" having seen how both the totalitarianism of Stalinist Communism distorted Marxist orthodoxy and how liberal capitalism had peaked with the high-modernity of the 1950s. I think what most people will enjoy most about Mills and this collection of unpublished documents is how colloquially Mills writes. None of the postmodern pretension and highbrow academic jargon you would read from a sociology text today, and Mills's insights are still as valid today as when he wrote them which is saying a lot. Definitely a must read.
Date published: 2009-04-30

Editorial Reviews

"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 "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