Friday, December 04, 2009

Intellecutals and others I confuse

Here's a confession. I have sometimes mixed up or confused or conflated some prominent intellectuals and musicians. (I'm not including aural confusion of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan or Madeleine Peryoux and Billy Holliday.)

In retrospect it is easy to understand or excuse, I read a reference to someone and it sticks vaguely in my mind, then I read about someone with a similar name in a similar field an make an association.

I'm going to pretend that my confusions are the mark of a curious mind.

Anthony Crosland and Richard Crossman--two prominent intellectuals in the British Labour Party in the 1950s and the 1960s

Isaiah Berlin and Ira Berlin-- two prominent historians who wrote about issues of freedom and politics, but the first is British from the 1950s and Ira is an American and they are a generation (at least) distinct.

Elia Kazan and Alfred Kazin. Film maker and literary critic.

Bruce Cockburn and Bruce Hornsby-- North American rock musicians who incorporate jazz and folk touches and who have achieved somewhat more than a cult following but less than superstardom. I've never confused either with Bruce Springsteen, though.

Murray Bookchin and Murrray Rothbard--libertarian/anarchist theorists. They are from the social and individualist trends of the movement. Rothbard, in fact, seems to have been a particularly nasty political strategist, advocating and implementing an alliance of libertariansim with racist grievances. (See this article from the liberatarian Reason magazine)

Daniel Bell and Daniel A. Bell
sociologist and political scientist who have both written for Dissent.

Thomas Frank and T. A. Frank After What's the Matter with Kansas, some of the later's articles were by-line Thomas A. Frank, if I recall correctly.

Max Gordon and Max Gordon--founder of the Village Vanguard and one-time editor of the Daily Worker who broke with the CP after Khrushchev's Secret Speech.

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