No Sense of Coherence

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From James MacGregor Burns' appearance on Booknotes in 1989:

"LAMB: [In your book you write] 'In the late 20th century, many Americans sense an intellectual, cultural, and political fragmentation and trivialization that pervades our public and private lives.' ... Is it in fact true that we're getting this?
BURNS: Yes. I think we're trivialized and fragmentized first of all governmentally and politically. We have that kind of system. But secondly our thinking tends to be, again as I was saying a moment ago, very specialized. We don't seem to have today the kinds of broad thinkers in so many different fields. You take a Walter Lippmann. I often disagreed with the guy, but you had a sense of a man who was thinking across a great body of thought. And some of the great philosophers of earlier days. To put this more broadly, Brian, I like to play a kind of a parlor game with people and that is to ask them if they are in a particular specialty -- whom do you remember? ... whom do you think will be remembered from this era 50 years from now in your field as we remember people from say 50 years back? As we remember, say, Lippmann, John Dewey in philosophy and architecture Frank Lloyd Wright; in musical comedy some of the great music ... you can go right across the board. It's quite fascinating and it's very hard to think of the people who will stand that test of time today."