Disappearing Russia

The institutions of the West have lost much of their power to conserve the past for future generations. Lately, this has manifested within higher ed as a short-term outlook that reacts to world events, steering students and academics alike away from studying the culture and history of countries deemed problematic. Due to the imperialistic actions … Continue reading “Disappearing Russia”

Diary of a Mad Emerita

During the years I taught college English, I had a ringside seat watching a new breed of Jacobins seize control of a university English department, then extend their reach throughout the humanities. Posing as the champions of “social justice,” they have built an empire cultivating “victims”—and silencing colleagues who oppose the new mission of the … Continue reading “Diary of a Mad Emerita”

The Fight over Critical Race Theory in Education: A Fight for Our National Survival

Editor’s note: The following article was originally published at Legal Insurrection on August 8, 2021. On July 29, 2021, I gave a presentation on “Fighting Smart Against Critical Race Theory In Education” to over 100 state legislators at the American Legislative Exchange Council annual meeting in Salt Lake City. The invitation to speak grew out of the publicity generated … Continue reading “The Fight over Critical Race Theory in Education: A Fight for Our National Survival”

Security Concerns with China Limiting Student Learning

The college campus has become a battleground between the United States and China. Donations, research funding, and international students give colleges a much-needed financial and enrollment boost, but the connection to the Chinese government can also threaten academic freedom and, on some occasions, national security. Fundamentally, universities exist to serve students and the public interest, … Continue reading “Security Concerns with China Limiting Student Learning”

University Decline: Hofstadter’s Warning Has Been Ignored

The 1960s were a turbulent period for academia, and we are still struggling with the repercussions of that turbulence today. Indeed, today’s “woke” campus is in many ways the result of policies, patterns, and practices initiated in that period and its immediate aftermath in the early 1970s. It may therefore be useful to look at … Continue reading “University Decline: Hofstadter’s Warning Has Been Ignored”

How the College Board Mangles the Teaching of History

The College Board is a not-for-profit company that has a great deal of influence over American education. Its Scholastic Aptitude Test (the SAT) is the most widely used test for assessing the college readiness of students, and its many Advanced Placement exams allow students to show that they have learned subjects well enough not to … Continue reading “How the College Board Mangles the Teaching of History”

A Book with a Kernel of Truth—and a Grain Silo of Nonsense

Every so often, a leftist thinker breaks free from the orthodoxy to point out that policies favored by “progressives” can have adverse consequences. When that happens, it’s worth paying attention. We have such an instance with the publication of The Cult of Smart by Fredrik deBoer, a writer and one-time academic whose work has appeared … Continue reading “A Book with a Kernel of Truth—and a Grain Silo of Nonsense”

Why Students Have Turned Away from History

I taught history from 1976 through 2013 at Harvard, Carnegie-Mellon, the Naval War College, and Williams College. The 37 years of my career coincided with a drastic change in the nature of history as it is taught in our colleges and universities. That led to an extraordinary decline in student interest in history, reflected in … Continue reading “Why Students Have Turned Away from History”