Lists are always strange. Lists of 100 best novels in English that include some of the worst novels ever written – that kind of thing. They’re always strange. That list of UK public intellectuals that was then augmented by a female version, both of them including some very odd ‘intellectuals’ – movie stars, advertisers, publicists. Strange. So of course this list is strange. But all the same, I have to bleat at a couple of inclusions. Why so many clerics? The pope, al-Qaradawi, al-Sistani? Those are intellectuals? And then there’s Paglia, and Thomas Friedman. But these lists are always strange, so whatever.
So whodja vote for? I’ll tell you mine. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, Sen. I’d already chosen them before I noticed that at least three of them have some connection with B&W. Two have articles here, another has sent email comments for quoting. But I voted before I thought of that.