Charles Wright Mills was an American sociologist, and a professor of sociology at Columbia University from 1946 until his death in 1962. Mills was published widely in popular and intellectual journals, and is remembered for several books. Among them The Power Elite, which introduced that term and describes the relationships and class alliances among the U.S. political, military, and economic elites, White Collar, on the American middle class, and The Sociological Imagination, where Mills proposes the proper relationship in sociological scholarship between biography and history.
Mills was concerned with the responsibilities of intellectuals in post-World War II society, and advocated public and political engagement over uninterested observation. Mills biographer Daniel Geary writes that his writings had a "particularly significant impact on New Left social movements of the 1960s." In fact, Mills popularized the term "New Left" in the U.S. in a 1960 open letter, Letter to the New Left.
Prestige is the shadow of money and power. Where these are, there it is. Like the national market for soap or automobiles and the enlarged arena of federal power, the national cash-in area for prestige has grown, slowly being consolidated into a truly national system.