The intellectuals’ self-image, it will be seen, had come to coincide with the popular stereotype of the intellectual. The popular stereotype, contrary to a widespread impression among intellectuals themselves, was not unfavorable. By the 1960’s it was a well-documented fact that the intellectual professions stood high in the sociologists’ hierarchy of social prestige. Although the content of the image of the intellectual cannot be documented with much precision, one can summarize it approximately: the intellectual was typically a graduate of an Ivy League college; he wore Ivy League clothes with the same casual authority with which he talked about books, wine, and women; he had traveled widely, mostly in Europe; he lived in a modern house filled with Danish furniture; his boys had long hair instead of crew cuts; his political opinions, like his other tastes, were vaguely unconventional and advanced; he was always questioning things the rest of us took for granted. In short, he was “sophisticated.” The older images of the intellectual as absentminded professor, or again as wild-eyed, long-haired political agitator, were no longer current. The new intellectual was a bright young man, not a bumbling academic; and even when he appeared as an agitator, he retained his Harvard accent and his club tie…The intellectual’s cosmopolitanism became un-American, his sophistication snobbery, his accent affectation, his clothes and his manner the badge, obscurely, of sexual deviation. But the point about the “anti-intellectual” image of the intellectual is that it agreed with the picture of the intellectual as a young executive; it merely put a different construction on the same evidence.
Christopher Lasch, The New Radicalism in America (1965), 313-314.