Already this book has caused something of a row, with several of its critics suggesting that the author wants to return to a mythical past or golden age. Nothing could be further from the truth: this is very much a volume concerned with the future and the importance of fighting for ideas and standards in the present. Rather than it being a litany of 'grumpy old men'-style complaints about modern life, Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone? analyses and explains why contemporary trends, rather than democratising public institutions, in fact short-change us all with a mixture of flattery and self-deception. These are strong charges, but unfortunately they are demonstrated time and again by the kind of writers now penning the hostile reviews. An example from this terse text that neatly summarises what's going on: Furedi is surprised that some students at his university are completing their degree courses having never read a book. He mentions this in an article for a national newspaper. The next day a senior administrator from his work is emailing to do some telling off. The problem, however, is not that Furedi has aired the university's dirty laundry in public, but that he is privileging book-based learning and not seeing that there are dozens of other ways to study, apparently. Get with the programme! Here is higher education using an elaborate rationale to avoid pushing its students to read: exactly the kind of problem this book is meant to address.