Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left

Author(s): Roger Scruton


From one of the leading critics of leftist orientations comes a study of the thinkers who have most influenced the attitudes of the New Left. Beginning with a ruthless analysis of New Leftism and concluding with a critique of the key strands in its thinking, Roger Scruton conducts a reappraisal of such major left-wing thinkers as E. P. Thompson, Ronald Dworkin, R. D. Laing, Jurgen Habermas, Gyorgy Lukacs, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Slavoj Žižek, Ralph Milliband, and Eric Hobsbawm. In addition to assessments of these thinkers' philosophical and political contributions, the book contains a biographical and bibliographical section summarizing their careers and most important writings.

In Fools, Frauds and Firebrands Scruton asks, What does the Left look like today, and how has it evolved? He charts the transfer of grievances, from the working class to women, gays, and immigrants, asks what we can put in the place of radical egalitarianism, and what explains the continued dominance of antinomian attitudes in the intellectual world. Can there be any foundation for resistance to the leftist agenda without religious faith?

Writing with great clarity, Scruton delivers a devastating critique of modern left-wing thinking.


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What does the Left look like today and how has it evolved? Is there any foundation for resistance to its agenda without religious faith?

Professor Roger Scruton is a graduate of Jesus College, Cambridge. He has been Professor of Aesthetics at Birkbeck College, London, and University Professor at Boston University. He is currently visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford and Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington DC. He has published a large number of books, including some works of fiction, and has written and composed two operas. He writes regularly for the Times, the Telegraph, the Spectator and was for many years wine critic of the New Statesman.

Preface \ 1. What is Left ? \ 2. E.P. Thompson \ 3. Ronald Dworkin \ 4. Michel Foucault \ 5. R.D.Laing \ 6. Raymond Williams \ 7. Chomsky and Zinn \ 8. Deleuze and Guattari \ 9. Lacan and Derrida \ 10. Negri and Zizek \ 11. Antonio Gramsci \ 12. Jurgen Habermas \ 13. Perry Anderson \ 14. Gyorgy Lukacs \ 15. Jean Paul Sartre \ 16. What is Right? \ 17. The alternative-a brief summary of thinkers dropped from the agenda on account of leftist dominance-Hayek, Oakeshott, Eliot, Gehlen and Pieper.

General Fields

  • : 9781408187333
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : December 2015
  • : 216mm X 135mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : November 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Roger Scruton
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : en
  • : 320.53
  • : 304
  • : No illustrations