You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Arguing the World

Docu picked up by First Run Features should have a limited but enthusiastic audience. Pic offers a biographical look at four New York Jewish intellectuals who came out of City College of New York on the eve of World War II. Specialized festival and limited engagements are a sure bet for "Arguing the World," with ultimate academic and TV/video play the likely outcome.

With:
Narrator: Alan Rosenberg.

Docu picked up by First Run Features should have a limited but enthusiastic audience. Pic offers a biographical look at four New York Jewish intellectuals who came out of City College of New York on the eve of World War II. Specialized festival and limited engagements are a sure bet for “Arguing the World,” with ultimate academic and TV/video play the likely outcome.

Film follows the lives of conservative political essayist Irving Kristol, moderate sociologist Nathan Glazer, social theorist Daniel Bell and the late socialist literary critic Irving Howe, from their poverty-stricken childhoods to their clashes in the political and cultural battles of the past 40 years. All came through CCNY, dubbed the poor man’s Harvard, where more education took place in cafeteria debates than in the classroom.

Once out of school they ended up in academia, at highbrow journals of opinion and — ultimately — influencing the movers and shakers of the country. Their overlapping and diverging paths provide a review of the political landscape of the last half-century. All were anti-Communists, for example, but Kristol eventually found himself as a conservative spokesman, while Howe assumed a leading role in the minuscule American socialist movement.

Their differing reactions to the campus unrest of the ’60s is instructive, with each in turn becoming disillusioned with the college radicals who presumed to be their successors. SDS leader (and subsequent California legislator) Tom Hayden comes in for repeated criticism not only from the more conservative thinkers, but from Howe as well.

Filmmaker Joseph Dorman provides a good context for the careers and issues that the film covers, letting each man have his say not only about his own life, but about the others as well. In a pithy closing statement, Howe notes that while he may disagree with Bell and Glazer, they have common roots. As for Kristol, Howe gives him the back of the hand, wishing him well in his life and failure in his political ambitions, noting that their common background no longer has any meaning.

Film is a fascinating documentation of an important chapter in the history of 20th century American intellectuals, but as such will have a limited audience.

Arguing the World

Production: A First Run Features release of a Riverside Film Prods. and Thirteen/WNET production. Produced by Joseph Dorman. Executive producer, Arnold Labaton. Directed, written by Joseph Dorman.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W), Peter Browscombe, Barrin Bonet, Wayne DeLaRoche, Boyd Estus; editor, Jonathan Oppenheim; music, Adam Guettel; sound, John Cameron, Nick Clark, Jeff Hansell, Peter Karl, John McCormick, Haven McKenney, Rick Mills, Caleb Mose, Jeff Pullman, Mark Roy, Saul Rouda, Dale Whitman; associate producer, Gail Segal. Reviewed on videocassette, Nov. 21, 1997. (In Boston Jewish Film Festival.) Running time: 109 min.

With: Narrator: Alan Rosenberg.

More Film

  • Japan Box Office: ‘Kamen Rider’ Roars

    Japan Box Office: ‘Kamen Rider’ Roars to Top Spot

    Docu picked up by First Run Features should have a limited but enthusiastic audience. Pic offers a biographical look at four New York Jewish intellectuals who came out of City College of New York on the eve of World War II. Specialized festival and limited engagements are a sure bet for “Arguing the World,” with […]

  • NYPD Investigating Explosion in Times Square

    NYPD Investigating Explosion in Times Square Station, Suspect in Custody

    Docu picked up by First Run Features should have a limited but enthusiastic audience. Pic offers a biographical look at four New York Jewish intellectuals who came out of City College of New York on the eve of World War II. Specialized festival and limited engagements are a sure bet for “Arguing the World,” with […]

  • 'BPM (Beats Per Minute)' Leads France's

    Robin Campillo's 'BPM (Beats Per Minute)' Leads France's 2017 Lumieres Nominations

    Docu picked up by First Run Features should have a limited but enthusiastic audience. Pic offers a biographical look at four New York Jewish intellectuals who came out of City College of New York on the eve of World War II. Specialized festival and limited engagements are a sure bet for “Arguing the World,” with […]

  • Golden Globe Nominations

    Golden Globe Nominations Announced Live

    Docu picked up by First Run Features should have a limited but enthusiastic audience. Pic offers a biographical look at four New York Jewish intellectuals who came out of City College of New York on the eve of World War II. Specialized festival and limited engagements are a sure bet for “Arguing the World,” with […]

  • IFFAM: Mihara, Savage, Without a Head

    'Mihara,' 'Savage,' 'Without a Head' Named as Macau Project Winners

    Docu picked up by First Run Features should have a limited but enthusiastic audience. Pic offers a biographical look at four New York Jewish intellectuals who came out of City College of New York on the eve of World War II. Specialized festival and limited engagements are a sure bet for “Arguing the World,” with […]

  • Golden Globes Placeholder

    How to Watch the Golden Globe Nominations Live

    Docu picked up by First Run Features should have a limited but enthusiastic audience. Pic offers a biographical look at four New York Jewish intellectuals who came out of City College of New York on the eve of World War II. Specialized festival and limited engagements are a sure bet for “Arguing the World,” with […]

  • Saudi Arabia Lifts 35-Year Cinema Ban

    Saudi Arabia Lifts 35-Year Cinema Ban

    Docu picked up by First Run Features should have a limited but enthusiastic audience. Pic offers a biographical look at four New York Jewish intellectuals who came out of City College of New York on the eve of World War II. Specialized festival and limited engagements are a sure bet for “Arguing the World,” with […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content