Raymond Aron's 1955 masterpiece The Opium of the Intellectuals, is one of the great works of twentieth- century political reflection. Aron shows how noble ideas can slide into the tyranny of "secular religion" and emphasizes how political thought has the profound responsibility of telling the truth about social and political reality-in all its mundane imperfections and tragic complexities.Aron explodes the three "myths" of radical thought: the Left, the Revolution, and the Proletariat. Each of these ideas, Aron shows, are ideological, mystifying rather than illuminating. He also provides a fascinating sociology of intellectual life and a powerful critique of historical determinism in the classically restrained prose for which he is justly famous.For this new edition, prepared by Daniel J. Mahoney and Brian C. Anderson as part of Transaction's ongoing "Aron Project," political scientist Harvey Mansfield provides a luminous introduction that underscores the permanent relevance of Aron's work. The new edition also includes as an appendix "Fanaticism, Prudence, and Faith," a remarkable essay that Aron wrote to defend Opium from its critics and to explain further his view of the proper role of political thinking. The book will be of interest to all students of political theory, history, and sociology.

part One|101 pages

Political Myths

chapter I|32 pages

The Myth of the Left

chapter II|31 pages

The Myth of the Revolution

chapter III|28 pages

The Myth of the Proletariat

chapter |8 pages

Concerning Political Optimism

part II|98 pages

The Idolatry of History

chapter IV|30 pages

Churchmen and the Faithful

chapter V|26 pages

The Meaning of History

chapter VI|30 pages

The Illusion of Necessity

chapter |10 pages

The Control of History

part Three|124 pages

The Alienation of the Intellectuals

chapter VII|33 pages

The Intellectuals and their Homeland

chapter VIII|29 pages

The Intellectuals and their Ideologies

chapter IX|30 pages

The Intellectuals in Search of a Religion

chapter |10 pages

The Destiny of the Intellectuals