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The following is a lecture presented at the Lafayette College (Easton, PA) 'Paul Robeson Conference', April 7, 2005, as a part of a three-day conference on the history and culture of civil rights and civil liberties. In The Last Intellectuals, published in 1987, historian Russell Jacoby lamented the decline of the tradition of public intellectual expression and its replacement by a narrow and highly specialized academic culture. Jacoby argued persuasively that too many contemporary intellectuals, including many identifying themselves as progressive or Marxist, are comfortably ensconced in universities, where they typically dedicate themselves to narrow academic debates replete with esoteric jargon and minuscule professional audiences. He maintained that this process, which has intensified in the past 21 years, inhibits broader public discourse and redirects intellectual and political energy into increasingly remote forums.