Alongside our heaps of reality television personalities, Kardashian-style celebrities and teenage pop stars, the United States is poised to get something it sorely needs: a public intellectual.
Ronan Farrow has the celebrity background. He's the son of Mia Farrow and
But he's also got intellectual chops. The 25-year-old was a Rhodes Scholar and has a degree from Yale Law School, where he was the editor of "The Yale Journal of International Affairs." In 2004, Farrow was the youngest person ever to graduate from Bard College -- just 15 -- having double-majored in biology and philosophy.
With those two factors, Farrow could look forward to a successful life in academia, flecked with the occasional overflow of celebrity attention brought on by his family. That's not the path he's taking, however.
He's been a diplomat, serving as special advisor to Secretary of State
He's going to start hosting a television show in 2014 on
And he's also writing a book -- not a celebrity memoir, but a book about international affairs. "Pandora's Box: How American Military Aid Creates America's Enemies" will be published in 2015 by Penguin.
Ronan, who has won a number of accolades for his international activism, calls the hubbub about his parentage "a distraction." But if it helps put him on television screens, it's a benefit to us all. He might help rescue that endangered species, the American public intellectual, from extinction.