Read about them with Tony Judt. Two ideas from the essay I like:1. In the Britain of the 1950s it was difficult to distinguish smart conversationalists from polished ones.2. The rise of obscurantist theory in the humanities has spawned its opposite: ill-informed "experts" chattering away for hours on television.

John T. McGreevy is the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost at the University of Notre Dame.

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