This will be a shorter-than-normal post because I just don't have that much to say about What Are Intellectuals Good For?
Which is a shame because it really probably is a good book if you are well-versed in political philosophy, particularly left-leaning politics. Of which I am not - I'm not well-versed in any politics. The book is made up of essays and book reviews Scialabba wrote over a number of years and published in different magazines and journals. My lack of political acumen is compounded by having read very little of the authors' work under review in Scialabba's essays. Most of the arguement goes right over my head so I don't feel like I can give an accurate opinion of the book beyond "It was OK."
Scialabba writes very well and I wish I had a better background understanding of his subject(s) because I really wanted to like this book. It was hard to come by a copy so I am a little disappointed (I think more with myself than anything) - I still don't know what intellectuals are good for except, perhaps, for thinking.