Blogs > Cliopatria > "Conservative" and "Radical" in the Academy

Jan 20, 2006 11:17 am

"Conservative" and "Radical" in the Academy

The problem in a nutshell:

Compare this and this.

Then compare this and this.
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David Lion Salmanson - 1/24/2006

I was thinking about taking an exclusively US focus as opposed to the more rigorous and demanding multi-archival research that often required multiple langauge competencencies. For the old school diplomatic historians, the younger SHAFR style folks seemed unserious and incomplete. For them, Diplomatic History required two sides to tango. For the SHAFR types, the temptation to move into the history of social movements often proved irresistable. What I am arguing is, eseentially, that Diplomatic History ceased to exist in its old configuration and was not sufficeintly different from othre specialties in its new configuration. I've presented work at SHAFR and been invited back, but for the life of me, I can't figure out why but they seemed happy to have me. They were especially interested in me as a self-described "Western historian" a specialty that was declared dead but revived phoenix-like by welcoming damn near anybody who was willing to identify as westerners. Thus one of the founding documents of the New Western History, Changes in the Land was about New England, while one of its greatest triumphs, Richard White's Middle Ground is largely the the type of multi-archival work most associated with Diplomatic History

Robert KC Johnson - 1/23/2006

It could be that it's the fault of diplomatic historians that they broadened their approach (looking at the intersection between domestic forces and foreign policy in the history of foreign relations and engaging in sophisticated multi-lingual research through international history, thereby moving away from an exclusive focus on executive-branch policymakers who usually were dead white men) that explains the refusal of many departments to hire in the field any longer. But somehow I'm not persuaded.

Ralph E. Luker - 1/23/2006

David, I read the piece on Avila and saw the same inexplicable two-facedness that you saw in it. They can't be the same person. But, as for the question you ask me, you've given me only a dependent clause, but I think I know what you mean. I'm open to all explanations. Rick Perlstein argues that, in the last thirty years, conservatives have simply failed to produce the quality of scholarship that would merit prestigious academic appointment. Maybe so, but I doubt that anyone believes that, for all our criticism of their op-eds, Niall Ferguson, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, and Victor Davis Hanson merit academic appointments. I think it could be a very fruitful inquiry to do a study of the career paths of conservative intellectuals in the last 30 years. Do they, as you say, run off to think tanks or is something else at work?

David Lion Salmanson - 1/23/2006

Did anybody look at some of the hatchet jobs? I looked at the one on Avila and it was unbelievable! They loved his course on the history of LA, but hated the course on the history of whiteness largely because they don't think whiteness exists in the way that it clearly has. Now KC would say that this is another example of Race as a methodology although any discussion of the history of whiteness requires a full discussion of Jacksonian politics which Avila clearly provides according to the hatchet job. Gimmee a break.

And Ralph, if you haven't figured out that most of the decent conservative historians take off for the think tanks well before the Ivies come calling.

KC How come you never blame Diplomatic historians for their own decline? Wasn't that misstep into History of Foreign Relations (ie: domestic history) what killed the field, not leftists?

David Silbey - 1/22/2006

"_Everybody_ in the discussion, _except_ you, recognizes that the social history slots have absorbed many slots at major research institutions that were previously devoted to political, military, legal, constitutional, and diplomatic history. Do you really believe that KC is obliged, simply because you say so, to conduct a massive empirical study of the shift?"

I think he's obliged if he wants his argument to be taken seriously. The normal rules of historical argumentation and evidence don't get suspended simply because _everybody_ knows something to be true.

"as you probably know"

Actually, I didn't. Thank you for letting me know.

"Three of the 30 had more than half of their faculty dealing with the US national period hired in more "traditional" fields; three more had between 30 and 50 percent; the other 24, including UCLA, had percentages below 25"

Those are fascinating numbers, and I'd be interested in reading the article that resulted. Thirty is arbitrary, but defensible.

But let me ask: what is the "right" percentage for a department to have?

Second, what were the percentages like before the current era?

Third, how has a world of increasing subspecialization affected those numbers?

Robert KC Johnson - 1/22/2006

David, as you probably know, I have conducted such a study, looking at the staffing patterns of the Americanist contingents at the 30 largest public universities in the country. I've both spoken and written about these figures quite extensively. I concede the 30 figure is somewhat arbitrary: I tried to choose departments with more than 10 Americanists in the national period, on the assumption that these departments would hire in sub-specialties; and focused on public universities out of a belief that since some of their funding comes from state legislatures, it could be assumed that they would at least be somewhat reluctant to eliminate all traditional forms of history.

Three of the 30 had more than half of their faculty dealing with the US national period hired in more "traditional" fields; three more had between 30 and 50 percent; the other 24, including UCLA, had percentages below 25. That's why I feel comfortable in saying that UCLA is safely representative. Both in terms of percentages of courses offered dealing with political, diplomatic, military, and constitutional history and in terms of percentage of hires dealing with political, military, diplomatic, and legal history, there isn't much unusual about UCLA among its peer group.

Tim Burke has challenged me with the argument that it's impossible to define precisely what's a "social" historian and what's a "political" historian, and that it's very hard to determine a course's pedagogical focus simply from a syllabus. Both criticisms, of course, are well taken, but I still contain that it matters what fields departments hire in (I don't know of any large department that has so many US political historians and so few US social historians that political historians staff the social history classes); and with the latter, we have no choice but to comment on what's publicly available. As we've seen with the UCLAprofs flap, there's extraordinary resistance among the faculty to publicizing what goes on in the classroom.

Ralph E. Luker - 1/21/2006

David, _Everybody_ in the discussion, _except_ you, recognizes that the social history slots have absorbed many slots at major research institutions that were previously devoted to political, military, legal, constitutional, and diplomatic history. Do you really believe that KC is obliged, simply because you say so, to conduct a massive empirical study of the shift? Get real! People are paid to do those things. You tell him to do it without offering compensation! When will you start doing massive empirical studies just because I say you should?

David Silbey - 1/21/2006

Robert--I understand that you've talked about it. The evidence you've adduced, however, is not well developed, at least as you've presented it here. The syllabi are online. Good. Let's hear an analysis of their areas of study. Not one or two of them--1 credit courses or no--but the entire range of syllabi.

You've talked about one job hiring advertisement. Good. But let's hear an analysis of UCLA's hiring decisions over the last 20 years. What professors were being replaced, what happened to the lines, and who was eventually hired in that "line."

You claim that this is representative of research universities in the United States. Let's see some evidence of this: a study of major research universities geographically dispersed across the U.S. that looks at hiring patterns and definition of field slots.

Anecdotes are lovely. So is data.

Robert KC Johnson - 1/21/2006

David, I've raised exactly your point countless times, beginning with my testimony before the Senate Education Committee in 2003 and then in numerous HNN posts and op-eds for other publications since.

My concern is with staffing imbalance along pedagogical lines, and the decision of most--not all--History Departments at larger state universities to re-allocate lines away from topics perceived as more "traditional," to such an extent that at most--not all--such departments, political, legal, military, and diplomatic history is not reflected in the Americanist faculty. UCLA is a perfect example of that. UCLA has been a school I've talked about more often than others partially because its department syllabi have been placed on-line--so the concrete curricular effects of these staffing decisions can be raised--and partially because the department advertised this year for a 20th century Americanist that wholly ignored its pedagogical imbalance and instead called for a specialty in labor and social topics in which the department already is top-heavy.

That staffing imbalance, however, also has a concrete curricular effect--we're not simply talking about abstract issues here. I care little about the political affiliation of department members, except to the extent that the extraordinary imbalance suggests that something might have gone wrong in the inherently subjective hiring process.

David Silbey - 1/21/2006

That I have not commented earlier on the discussion doesn't mean that I haven't paid attention to Dr. Johnson's posts for quite a while.

(By the way, the "come late to the discussion" is similar to the "Your reaction is suspicious" in rhetorical terms. And further, I'm not attacking Dr. Johnson, I'm attacking his argument, and I'm not doing it contemptuously. Converting criticism into an ad hominem and then criticizing the ad hominem is another rhetorical tactic).

As to whether UCLA stands as an example of the pedagogical issues that Dr. Johnson points out, I don't know that because Dr. Johnson hasn't developed that case. For example, as you do with John Shy and Michigan, a solid argument would look at the replacement patterns at UCLA over the past generation of historians and how those job advertisements were written. That's all public knowledge.

Ralph E. Luker - 1/21/2006

David, You've come late to this discussion. What you contemptuously call "pot shots" are only specific illustrations of a larger point that KC has been making. They are examples of a real issue. In your field, why has the University of Michigan never replaced John Shy? Because the slot went to an identity history field. You're not likely to get that call from Michigan because of the shift in resources. So, continue to attack KC if you will, but he is talking about real issues that affect your own personal career. And his discussion of them was triggered by a specific job announcement. So, if you bother to pay attention, you'll realize that it is you who is merely taking pot shots at him.

Ralph E. Luker - 1/21/2006

Adam, I'm wondering what "calm the fuck down" could mean. Would it mean not to yell so loudly while in a condition of ecstacy? In fact, if you looked at Vinay Lal's 1 credit course, I think even you would have to agree with the contention that it was an indoctrination course. You might agree with the doctrine, but there was no willingness to allow alternate perspectives.

David Silbey - 1/21/2006

"snipe hunt"

Snipes: Mmmm, them's good eating.

"s the pedagogical imbalance in the staffing of American history at institutions large enough to hire sizable departments."

And that's a much more reasoned and nuanced approach than taking offhand pot-shots at the UCLA Department of History.

And if what you're interested in is hiring practices, then your attention is misplaced. A more effective argument concerning pedagogical imbalance would look at who was replacing retired professors, and how UCLA writes its job advertisements. By the time they're creating those "leftist indoctrination" courses, it's way too late for your purposes.

That would perhaps be less sexy than taking on those courses. It might, however, be more convincing.

Adam Kotsko - 1/21/2006

Could we distinguish between liberals and leftists, just as a thought experiment? Liberal views are not radical -- in fact, they're held by probably 40-55% of the population, depending on what they are. For instance, if opposing the Iraq War is a radical left view, then the US is on the verge of a communist revolution -- if disapproving of Bush's performance in office is a radical left view, the danger is even greater.

The relevant fact, in my mind, seems to be that like 97% of professors are either Democrats or Republicans, and therefore in the mainstream. If the nation is becoming more Republican than Democratic, then the professoriate will eventually reflect that, but it will take longer, because of the issues of lifetime employment and apprenticeship-like practices.

In short: Just calm the fuck down. Even if people are being "indoctrinated" to think that unions are a good idea or have rights beyond what the government happens to acknowledge in a given situation, that's not necessarily "leftist indoctrination."

Robert KC Johnson - 1/21/2006

David, I have tried to make the reverse argument: that one possible--possible--explanation for the growing ideological imbalance in the academy is a growing pedagogical imbalance. This is one reason I oppose ABOR--it gets at a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.

If you have a campus (to take the figures from the recent Klein study) in which self-described liberals or leftists has roughly doubled in the last 20 years--from something like 37% to over 70%, one possibility for this is that departments are creating lines in which it's more likely that a leftist or liberal will be hired. The issue isn't whether "conservatives" or Republicans should be hired. The issue is that college administrators should ensure that History Departments (a similar caution could apply to English, or poli sci, or other such fields) are not actively seeking to eliminate legitimate subdisciplines or redefine them beyond recognition, all the while hiring people in topics that are utterly duplicative.

It is, of course, absolutely true that a line in women's history could yield a pro-life Catholic. But we all know that it's far, far more likely that a line in women's history will result in the hiring of a left-of-center woman--the field was, in many ways, a product of the feminist movement. Ditto with Chicano history, or African-American history, or labor history, or history of ethnicity, or the new field of "global history," where the 2004 annual conference featured "scholarly papers" attacking George W Bush and calling for restoring open admissions at CUNY.

The problem, in my eyes, is the pedagogical imbalance in the staffing of American history at institutions large enough to hire sizable departments. I agree with you: if we had more pedagogical balance, perhaps the ideological split in the academy would be exactly the same as it is now--it's very difficult to prove a negative. But I think it's also fair to say that it's very likely that a department (like UCLA's) whose Americanist positions consist almost entirely of social or cultural historians isn't likely to have a lot of political moderates, conservatives, or libertarians on staff.

Ralph E. Luker - 1/21/2006

David, Rather than allow myself to be sent off on a snipe hunt, I'll allow you to remain unconvinced.

David Silbey - 1/21/2006

"Would you like to tell me which haystack I should look in for that needle of rightist indoctrination? Must I search every research institution in the United States?"

If you'd like to make the argument convincing, yes.

"Will you pay me for my time?"

I'm sure there are foundations that will.

Ralph E. Luker - 1/20/2006

David, In effect, my academic colleagues on the left opened up slots for identity histories, social history, urban history, labor history, by not replacing military, diplomatic, constitutional, legal, and political historians. Often enough, no harm intended; but it happened ....
Would you like to tell me which haystack I should look in for that needle of rightist indoctrination? Must I search every research institution in the United States? Will you pay me for my time?

David Silbey - 1/20/2006

My point was not to show that there is no relationship but to question whether that relationship was the dominant one; that those with left-wing views consciously drove out those with right-wing views by excluding political, military, and diplomatic specialists.

Let me offer a hypothetical: if the UCLA department hired me, a military historian, they would be redressing one sort of imbalance, but (since I am a registered Democrat) not the other.

The two--ideology and specialization--are likely connected. How they are connected and how intimately is likely, however, to be much more complex than what we're talking about here.

As to the rightist indoctrination course, your remark simply proves the point I was making: that you don't know if there is one or not because you haven't looked. You've assumed one side of the argument.

Ralph E. Luker - 1/20/2006

David, If you could show that there is no relationship between the rise of the academic left from 1965 to 2005 and the decline of mainstream American political, diplomatic, constitutional, and legal history, it would could as a considerable surprise to Tim, Chris, KC, and me. Similarly, if you could identify a course of rightist indoctrination offered in any history department in a major research university in the United States, please notify me immediately. I'd like to feature a discussion of that fact here at Cliopatria.

David Silbey - 1/20/2006

I certainly see the patterns in the hirings you point out. In fact, as a military historian, I've experienced those patterns first hand. What I don't see is the connection between such hiring patterns and the "leftist tilt", and no-one has demonstrated that connection. That's what I find problematic.

"one wouldn't expect to find a comparable example of rightist indoctrination in a major research university department anywhere in the country. "

The problem with "wouldn't expect" is that it indicates that you don't actually know whether there's such an example or not.

David T. Beito - 1/20/2006

Whenever people claim that their colleagues do not discriminate against people with different ideas, the alarm bells should immediately ring. Nobody's that perfect. Isn't it human nature to discriminate and just as equally human nature to be insensitive to charges of discrimination?

It certainly has been true on issues of race. Why should ideology be any different? BTW, you get a very interesting google result if you pair the term "progressive" (the favorite self-description term for "radicals") and the terms "ethnic studies" and "scandivanian studies."

Ralph E. Luker - 1/20/2006

If you don't see patterns in the substantial decline of mainstream political, constitutional, legal, and diplomatic history in the hires and offerings in American history -- examples of which KC has cited -- I'm afraid it may be because you've not been looking at the forest. Moreover, even outliers like Val's offering at UCLA is telling because one wouldn't expect to find a comparable example of rightist indoctrination in a major research university department anywhere in the country. The question, in that case, is why is leftist indoctrination tolerated, when right wing propaganda would be recognized as such.

David Silbey - 1/20/2006

" tend to shoot them down as isolated irrelevancies; and if we point to a general problem"

I can't speak for Tim Burke, but what I've seen tend to repeat in Dr. Johnson's remarks are specific examples that are not _connected_ to the larger whole. Examples are only examples if they are truly representative.

Ralph E. Luker - 1/20/2006

Did you recognize my stated respect for the UCLA historians whose work I know? Need I re-iterate my respect for you and Chris? My sense is that if KC or I cite specific examples of a general problem, you tend to shoot them down as isolated irrelevancies; and if we point to a general problem, specific examples are demanded and the cycle repeats itself. Mere repetition of that pattern puts you in the position of being an apologist for the status quo, whether in particular departments or in a profession that is decidedly self-satisfied. That isn't Tim Burke at his best, but I respect Tim Burke, even when he isn't at his best. Where your argument is strong, I think, is where you point to the kinds of research and publication that points to new syntheses and new ways of doing political, military, constitutional and legal history, but insofar as you offer apologias for left toleration of left indoctrination, I think there's just an unwillingness to be critical of one's own.

Timothy James Burke - 1/20/2006

Like Chris, I've given you and KC my answer to this already, Ralph. The answer is for new (and old) practices of historiography to be perusuasive in the marketplace of ideas, first of all. The social historians did not seize the discipline by military coup d'etat, but by publishing and researching, by arguing and thinking.

The second answer is precisely because the problem is broad and institutional, think about how institutions work, how they change, where the levers that move them are. Forget the particular case we're talking about for a moment: if there's anything that historians (political, social or otherwise) should excel at, it is thinking about institutional change over time. And the answer is, most institutions change slowly, complicatedly--unless you want simply to destroy them, which is another matter. But on an ethical level, if you're concerned with an institutional problem, then it's usually poor sportsmanship to synecdotally concentrate your critique on an isolated example and expect that example to respond uniquely to your critique. One might be able to use UCLA as an example of something systematic, but you're here suggesting that they distinctively or specifically lack some kind of professional rectitude. That's a different kind of accusation, at least for me.

The reason it's particularly important think institutionally is that otherwise the solution to the problem merely reproduces the problem in another form. If all this becomes is about kicking the social historians out and putting some other set of specializations in place, it hardly seems worth the sturm und drang of it all: it's just moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. It's only worth doing if it's about rethinking the entire architecture of specialization, publication, the spirit of the whole enterprise, while also retaining some kind of distinctive professional creed.

Said creed, it seems to me, includes a certain amount of presumptive respect for the colleagues we know and even those that we do not. In UCLA's department, I know the work of Edward Alpers, Andrew Apter and William Worger quite well, Ghislaine Lydon less well. Certainly from the perspective of Mr. Jones, they're probably damned as radicals merely because they write about African history. But in any event they're all cultural and social historians (Apter is even, gasp, kind of an anthropologist.)

One might sigh and regret and wonder, "Why couldn't UCLA have hired a conservative Africanist instead of those guys?" The first reason that regret would annoy me is that there's nothing wrong with the three of them--they're skilled, productive scholars. When you sigh thus, you're saying in some respect that someone who now has a job should not have it, just as someone who looked at my position and said, "Couldn't they find an African-American or African scholar in order to diversify?" might thus sigh. (And some have.) It's a kind of careless disrespect for actual people occupying actual positions.

It's also silly because there are in reality about ten people who in the last thirty years would self-identify explicitly as "conservatives" in Africanist history who could have been thus hired instead of those four.

You might have hired a political historian of Africa, but there aren't many who aren't also in some respect social or economic historians. That's not ideology: it's also a reflection of the very nature of the field, of the evidence available to us.

You might say, "Ok, I'm not talking about African history, but some other field, like American". But in each case, again, if you're going to place this heavy burden on a single department, you can't just rest on what you're calling "the results". You have to--professionally and humanly--get into the specifics of why the decisions were made in the way they were made, about whom stepped forward in what way and at what time.

If you just want to use this as an entree to intractable, larger problems of institutional change, then let's not pause for long on a single department or single individuals. Admittedly that leaves us talking about much more abstract issues and about pervasive and subtle forms of causation. Too bad, but that's where we have to be.

Chris Bray - 1/20/2006


I agree with you here, yes. The answer to that sort of slowly created generational imbalance is scholarship and service in a history department. Every generation of historians works in its own direction, and pushes one or another pendulum in a new direction. Change is already underway. The argument is, I think, about appropriate means.

I swear that I am now turning off the computer and getting some exercise.

Ralph E. Luker - 1/20/2006

Step back from this a minute: you are issuing a broad-scale apologia for practices that you wouldn't defend in particular. You accuse me of not being intimately acquainted with decision-making in hiring at UCLA. Fair enough. I'm not _allowed_ to know that. I can only look at the results. UCLA's history department would be better served, if in the course of 25 years of hires, it had stumbled upon and hired an excellent conservative scholar -- any field. So it has a department staffed entirely by people on the center-left and shows _no sign_ of being uncomforted by its ideological mono. So, its announced searches suggest that it will continue to do what it has been doing. Multiply the left-comfort zone by the numbers of research departments nationwide and you get a profession at ease in left Zion. Except that _you_ know that it's something to be uncomfortable about.

Chris Bray - 1/20/2006

I think Timothy Burke's last paragraph here speaks to the questions we've been addressing in a tremendously concise and elegant way, and I'm going to turn off the computer and take a walk.

Timothy Burke - 1/20/2006

There are, at present, none of the following in UCLA's history department, as far as I know (I could of course be wrong):

Libertarian historians writing histories of the Inuit.

Baptist historians writing histories of state formation in 11th Century interior West Africa.

Socialist historians writing histories of conservative Native Americans.

Muslim historians writing histories of 19th Century seamstresses campaigning for prohibition in Montana.

There are a lot of people in that department, but the number of possible exclusions, both ridiculous ones like those I've just listed and sober, legitimate ones, outnumbers the potential places in even the largest departments by a considerable factor. We could dream up all day some possible configurations of specialization and couple them to configurations of political and social philosophy or outlook. Many of the compartments we might invent we could fill with one or two people; many would be much more inhabited.

The reasons why, let's say, a decent proportion of social historians working on 20th Century US history are middle-to-upper-middle class white Americans with a liberal to left outlook, are reasonably complex matters of sociological and institutional history. There are many possible configurations of desirable pluralism that we can imagine against that where for reasons far beyond your control, my control, KC's control or the control of the UCLA Department of History, it is unlikely that anyone would step forward who would resemble the ideal sketch we had composed in our minds.

Many black scholars in history are drawn to African-American and African history, for example. The reasons for that are intricate and historical: they're not the product of some diabolical, instrumental, programmatic design, but instead of the complexity of motives and aspirations that draw us to academic study in the first place.

Now beyond that, yes, there are ways that intellectual patrol and restrict one another. Rodriguez is a good illustration of that: to stick his head up on seemingly "conservative" positions drew a lot of fire and antagonism in his direction, the vast majority of it in my mind unfair and narrow-minded. There are many similar examples, and that's where KC's complaints become tangible and legitimate.

But there's a whole iceberg lying under water beneath that, and when the complaint is made carelessly, you pick the whole damned thing up and pitch it on top of people. You can't hold UCLA's historians responsible for failing to fill their department out with all the imaginable configurations of pluralism in the world, or for failing somehow to completely invert the sociologies that predispose individuals to be drawn towards some topics and away from others. You can't say, "So why is it that Tim Burke was drawn to popular culture or African history? Why didn't somebody fix that back when it could still be fixed? We have too many of him and not enough diplomatic historians: we need to change our production lines and get the right mixture of product out there on the street." The scholars who are available to hire today are mostly people who've made their own decisions about what to write and think about, what to teach. You can't unimagine those tens of thousands of personal histories, or expect somehow a single institution to conjure into being the unlived lives and hypothetical careers in order to make their department look like what you deem it might be.

Ralph E. Luker - 1/20/2006

Of course. The problem is what we don't have any examples of that kind of thing being done in UCLA's department.

Timothy Burke - 1/20/2006

Richard Rodriguez?

I think it's possible both to imagine a conservative historian writing about Latino or Chicano history and to imagine the study of conservatism within Latino or Chicano history.

As a point of comparison, Rick Perlstein is expressly on the left in his own political views, but his history of Goldwater conservatism strikes me as a very fair, insightful work that takes the conservatism of his subjects very seriously intellectually and substantively. There's no reason why that couldn't happen within the confines of Chicano history.

Ralph E. Luker - 1/20/2006

Your defence of the people whose work you respect is an admirable instinct.

Chris Bray - 1/20/2006

I would actually pose a question to critics of faculty "radicalism" and identity studies: Can a scholar of Chicano studies be a conservative historian? That answer, I think, would say everything I need to know.

Chris Bray - 1/20/2006

That intellectual tone-deafness is real, but there are different conversations underway. I know that there are faculty in the history department at UCLA who think it's past time to hire a diplomatic historian. That's a conversation that goes on among people in the department, and is a serious, living issue. Throw an Andrew Jones at them, and the wagons will be circled. These are people I know and appreciate being attacked -- I'm with them. Different discussions produce different results.

Ralph E. Luker - 1/20/2006

I agree that it's a very interesting post. I also happen to think that there's a lot of intellectual tone-deafness in the academy that simply refuses to be self-critical. I am reminded of one of my distinguished friends in the department at UCLA. When she was confronted with the history scandals of 2002, she said: "But look at all the great scholarship on display in our book exhibits!" Well, yah, but how many exposures do there have to be before you have to admit that we really don't know what fraud lies within each book cover?

Ralph E. Luker - 1/20/2006

Chris, Don't you think that the contrast is largely one of the political moment? Lord knows, the Mormons at BYU have had their moments of being the ready "other" target; and, when free market ideology is the driver, Mormon communitarianism and Scandanavian socialism could become that again. On the other hand, it wouldn't hurt for some Chicano study scholars to explore some of the deeply textured conservatism of hispanic communities. It could allay some of the fears to which people like Horowitz appeal.

Melissa Ann Spore - 1/20/2006

Against all the sound and fury, your comparisons speak quietly and eloquently.

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