A Critic of Literature and Politics

A Critic of Literature and Politics

Writers and Politics

by Conor Cruise O’Brien

New York, Pantheon. 259 pp. $4.95.

Conor Cruise O’Brien, at least on the international scene the radical-liberal intellectual par excellence, has recently published a new collection of articles and speeches, Writers and Politics. As a United Nations official effectively in charge of the UN’s Congo operation, and later as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana during a period of great unrest, he has been intimately involved in activities usually unfamiliar to Western intellectuals. What makes O’Brien’s example all the more salutary is that he is not merely a diplomat, not merely a political scientist, nor a mandarin in the international movements for progressive education; he is also a literary man—a distinguished critic and literary historian…

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