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Encounters: My Life with Nixon, Marcuse, and Other Friends and Teachers, by Paul E. Gottfried; ISI Books, 2009, US$28. An American reviewer of this book wrote: “The future looks dark indeed, and as dark as it looks to a dilettante like me, it must look darker yet to someone who takes the life of the mind as seriously as Paul Gottfried does.” Few books could illustrate as sharply as this one does how we can be both helped and hindered by “the life of the mind”. Gottfried is a professor in political science whose expertise runs to such baleful topics as…

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