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What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?: Classroom Politics and "Bias" in Higher Education Paperback – September 17, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Then the author moves into a discussion of some of the books he teaches, but the literary criticism is only tangentially related to the topic of classroom politics or bias, or, for that matter, liberalism.
The material on postmodernism is interesting and has a political element, but would be better placed in a primer on pomo.
Finally, the last chapter is a ringing endorsement of the sort of liberalism that has been out of fashion since the Kennedy era but that is nonetheless safe. Thus pages applauding Social Security (the folks down at the local book club will nod and smile) but no comments about affirmative action, US military adventures, gay marriage or other more current issues. Their absence is conspicuous. The far left is dismissed as either a collection of lunatics or Bush fans in disguise (voting for Nader being equivalent to voting for Bush). And, of course, none of this has a thing to do with the liberal arts or charges of bias.
What's wrong with Berube's characterization? First, the race differences Rushton writes about are a matter of scientific observation, not "belief". Second, he writes number of separate physical and behavioral traits, not of overall superiority or inferiority of any one race. Third, according to Rushton's analysis, whites are uniformly intermediate between blacks and Orientals! [See Table 1, on page 19 of the Abridged edition, searchable on this website.] It would take a great deal of special pleading and tortuous logic to extract a "genetic superiority of the white race" out of this data. Needless to say, Rushton does not attempt this task.
Liberals like Berube may find repellant the empirical fact that significant race differences exist in such matters as intelligence and brain size, but it is not kosher to shoot the messengers who report such news.
of worry that the secret police will come to take away his son, some philosophical debating,
assorted academic anecdotes, and even some words about the apparent topic of the book.
The author is also strange. I have never before noticed an author post replies to reviews.
This is not necessarily bad, but it is unusual. Perhaps this review will draw a comment, also.
Perhaps it will stop the comments, by pointing them out.
The title is "What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?" and the question mark is part of the title.
The subtitle is "Classroom Politics and 'Bias' in Higher Education" and the inner quotes are
part of the subtitle. I've seen lots of attacks on liberal educators, some of which seemed
justified and some of which turned out to be false. The quoted "bias" seemed to indicate a
debunking or counterattack, so I was immediately interested.
Chapter one is personal. The author had an outspoken conservative student in a class. He is shown
as disruptive. The author treated him fairly. In chapter two, the author debunks three claims
of liberal academic misbehavior. So far he has me convinced there is at least one fair liberal
professor and no more than 99.44% of the conservative complaints are justified. Well, it's a
start. Maybe there will be more.
The author is a skilled writer and rhetorician. Here and through most of the book he lines up
a few facts or beliefs as if the next line was going to be "therefore <conservative person/idea
is <wrong/bad/evil/whatever" but he does not write that.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
That a reviewer can label his review, as does the guy below me, "thesisless": that a reviewer can so use the commonly false argument that "dis has nuttin to do widdat": indicates... Read morePublished on November 24, 2007 by Edward G. Nilges
So far find it very readable for an academic book. Fascinating and credible.Published on April 20, 2007 by avid reader
Berube's book is useful not for what it claims to teach but for what it reveals about the deficincies of the leftist academic takeover he is defending. Read morePublished on March 15, 2007 by David Williams