- File Size: 4352 KB
- Print Length: 272 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (August 28, 2018)
- Publication Date: August 28, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B079N85KB2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #811,612 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Splintering of the American Mind: Identity Politics, Inequality, and Community on Today’s College Campuses Kindle Edition
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From the Publisher
"Timely . . . The Splintering of the American Mind examines the competing costs and benefits of the country's continuing shift away from a commonly accepted--albeit white--canon of shared narratives to an 'exploration and celebration of marginalized racial and sexual identities.' Egginton devotes a large section of the book to one of the most vexing problems of our time--rampant inequality of both economic and social capital--and demonstrates the complicated and sometimes inadvertent ways in which our winner-take-all higher education system exacerbates and locks this in." - New York Times Book Review
"Provocative . . . Egginton's pot-stirring prose . . . will delight some readers and rile others, but his book will interest anyone wanting a better sense of the current mood surrounding American higher education." - Publishers Weekly
"An eloquent and moving defense of higher education’s contribution to the public good. Insisting that identity politics isn’t the enemy of community, and democracy is still a revolutionary idea, he steps nimbly around either/or choices, pointing the way forward to a more truly equitable campus--and country." - Laura Kipnis, author of UNWANTED ADVANCES
"An incisive and nuanced diagnosis of the ruptures in our society that so challenge higher education today. His call for a universal experience of the liberal arts as essential to democracy is as compelling as any I have seen." - Adam Falk, President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
"The Splintering of the American Mind challenges all those working in higher education to return to first principles. Egginton offers constructive criticism delivered with wit, learning, and a welcome glimpse at where the 'culture wars' of the 1980s and 90s wound up, even as his account points in helpful new directions." - Christopher S. Celenza, Ph.D., Dean of Georgetown College at Georgetown University
"A compassionate clarion call for academia to help reconstruct a national community sundered by divisions of class, geography, and education. He provides a convincing blueprint for how educators can promote community through changes in curriculum, particularly through a re-emphasis on the humanities, and public policy." - David Goldfield, Robert Lee Bailey Professor of History and author of THE GIFTED GENERATION
"A must-read book. For anyone concerned about the state of modern America and Higher Education’s role in it, Egginton provides an artful and passionate plea for America to revive its public sphere, and to renew our collective sense of commonwealth. Challenging all viewpoints and taking no prisoners, there is a dynamic and arresting urgency to his prose." - Ben Vinson III, Dean, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, George Washington University, and author of BEFORE MESTIZAJE
About the Author
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The book is divided into three parts: Identity, Inequality, and Community with each of these parts representing one aspect of modern American society that is broken. Egginton looks at each of these aspects from his position as a professor and director of the Humanities Institute at John Hopkins University. This experience provides a strong focus on events and trends that happen as they affect higher education. While Egginton does not state outright his own political perspective it would seem that he could be described as a moderate liberal. On most subjects, he attempts to see the good that was trying to be accomplished even when he disagrees with the results. This method provides an approach that is not extreme and is respectful to those with whom he disagrees.
The first part, identity, looks at a number of issues within identity politics. This includes aspects such as multiculturalism, the “Western Canon” of books, and the change of a university education from a liberal arts education to more of a technical or professional education. He gives his version of events based on a mixture of research and personal observation while relating these events to the current cultural climate.
The second part, Inequality, is about the growing gap in equality between people. In addition, he also looks at how education can overcome inequality in the United States. In this section he makes an interesting point regarding diversity. He notes that while institutions of Higher Learning have made great strides in increasing the amount of cultural and racial diversity they have not increased class diversity. For Egginton, what causes resentment among many people is the talk of diversity that does not include them. He backs this assertion up with statistics and anecdotal evidence.
The last part, community, is about how the idea of community has broken down in the last half century. The author looks at a variety of issues, political, social, and economic and shows how they are all interrelated and contribute to the breakdown of American society. As in other parts he shows how the positive reforms of years past became harmful when taken to extremes.
Overall, this book provides a distinctive outlook on modern American culture with some suggestions for change that does not fit within the current American political spectrum. If one thinks of Hegel’s idea of Thesis-Antithesis- Synthesis. This book is an attempt to create a synthesis within the movement of American culture.