Jonathan Zimmerman: Says liberal professors have become alienated from the public

Historians in the News

... Jonathan Zimmerman, director of the History of Education Program at New York University, also agreed that “it was time to stop talking about the ’60s.” Zimmerman noted that the percentage of academics voting for Republican presidential candidates was in the 30s through the 1980s, but then dropped. Some of that may have been the popularity of Bill Clinton, but Zimmerman said that for many academics “something really important and troubling happened in the ’80s and ’90s.” He elaborated: “I think the experience of living amid the rise of the new right had a profound effect on the lives of the professors.”

There has been “an erosion of liberal faith in citizens,” Zimmerman said. He noted that in the ’60s, liberal professors fought for student rights, but that when universities give students what they want today, professors deride administrators for giving in to “consumerism.”

Many professors these days, Zimmerman said, have as a signature quotation on their e-mail Hermann Goering’s quote about how easy it is to manipulate people into backing war. Whatever one thinks of the war in Iraq and that particular quote, Zimmerman said he found it odd that professors were using a Goering quote on their e-mail.

But it relates to the distrust of the people, Zimmerman said. Radical chic, he said, has been replaced by “radical pique.” He added: “The story we need to tell is about the alienation of professors from the publics.”...
Read entire article at Scott Jaschik in Inside Higher Ed reporting about a new study concerning the ideological tilt toward liberalism in the academy

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Michael Schack - 5/21/2010

The topic is Are historians biased. I will not get into the politics. There has been different "schools of History on many campusses. In the late 1950's and early 1960's there was the "Wisconsin School of history lead by William Appleman Williams, a Fred Turner, and supported by C.W. Mills of Columbia. To me this is no different then the University of Chicago's Economics Department having a Milton Friedman orientation. People of similar values and orientation tend to flock together.