Russell Jacoby

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Russell Jacoby (born April 23, 1945) is a professor of history at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) an author, and critic of academic culture. His fields of interest are Twentieth Century European and American intellectual and cultural history specifically the history of intellectuals and education. In 2009, he was appointed to the Moishe Gonzales Folding Chair of Critical Theory. A documentary, Velvet Prisons: Russell Jacoby on American Academia, premiered at the 'Humanity Explored' Online Film Festival.

He was born in New York City and educated at the University of Chicago and University of Wisconsin–Madison. Jacoby received his Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Rochester.


  • Articles and reviews in American Historical Review, Grand Street, The Nation, Los Angeles Times, London Review of Books, The New York Times, Harper's and elsewhere.
  • Social Amnesia: A Critique of Contemporary Psychology (Beacon Press, 1975; Transaction, 1997)
  • “What is Conformist Marxism?”. Telos 45 (Fall 1980). New York: Telos Press.
  • Dialectic of Defeat: Contours of Western Marxism (Cambridge University Press, 1981)
  • The Repression of Psychoanalysis: Otto Fenichel and the Political Freudians (Basic Books, 1983)
  • The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe (Basic Books, 1987; new edition with new Introduction, Basic Books 2000)
  • Dogmatic Wisdom: How the Culture Wars Divert Education and Distract America (Doubleday, 1994)
  • The Bell Curve Debate: History, Documents, Opinions (Times Books, 1995).
  • The End of Utopia: Politics and Culture in the Age of Apathy (Basic Books, 1999)
  • Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-Utopian Age (Columbia University Press, 2005)
  • Bloodlust: On the Roots of Violence from Cain and Abel to the Present (Free Press, 2011)



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