October 24, 2003
An Intellectual Superstar in France Gains an Audience in the U.S.
COGITO ERGO ZOOM: In the late 1990s, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu published a scathing critique of public intellectuals who not only spoke in sound bites, but thought in them as well. It was such a noxious development that it could only be named in Franglais: Bourdieu called them "les fast-thinkers." He did not explicitly name Bernard-Henri Lévy as an example; but then, he didn't have to. The man widely known as BHL has been a fixture of French life for the past quarter