Reflections of crisis
The role of the public intellectual
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This pocket-sized book brings together academic essays originally delivered at a Royal Irish Academy symposium held in 2008. This was the year the global financial crisis hit. This book reflects a bewilderment at the heart of Irish society as the public looked to journalists and academics for explanations and solutions to what went wrong. Broken into five essays by economists, social scientists and historians, the short volume teases out questions such as: can we think our way out of a crisis? At a time of economic collapse, do intellectuals have something to offer? Are the views of economists, novelists, playwrights, sociologists, historians, political scientists and civil servants dismissed and ignored? Is Irish society anti-intellectual? The emergence of the figure of the public intellectual in American society is considered in some detail, as the book makes a case for shared critical thinking, imagination and ideas as a basis for recovery.