Nancy MacLean’s new book "Democracy in Chains" is under attack from the rightHistorians in the News
tags: Democracy in Chains, Nancy MacLean
Collusion, alternative facts, shadowy billionaires: the words sound ripped from the political headlines, but they also describe the controversy surrounding Duke University historian Nancy MacLean’s new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America (Viking). And story keeps unfolding, with MacLean’s critics alleging inaccuracies and other problems with her book, MacLean in turn alleging a coordinated attack against her by libertarian scholars with ties to dark money, and others still accusing MacLean of trying to dishonestly promote favorable online book reviews.
MacLean declined comment on the matter through her publisher, which said it hopes discussions will soon return to the content of the book. Her named critics, meanwhile, deny any coordination in their takedowns of her work.
“The allegations she raised are fanciful and potentially libelous,” said David Bernstein, University Professor of law at George Mason University, who recently wrote unflatteringly about MacLean’s book in a blog for The Washington Post. No one “urged me, asked me, beseeched me, paid me or otherwise tried to influence me to blog about the book.”
Some nevertheless say they worry that swarm-style attacks on progressive scholars’ works -- especially in an era of online harassment of professors and plummeting public trust in academe -- could become a new normal. MacLean, they say, is the victim of just such an effort.
There’s “absolutely no question that left-wing scholars and scholarly ideas are under attack,” said Jacob Remes, an historian and clinical assistant professor at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Citing a recent pattern of threats against liberal professors, Remes said cases involving even more vulnerable faculty members “show how we need to defend scholarly norms and insist that debates over scholarship remain that -- scholarly debates -- and not become Fox News-like partisan free-for-alls.”...
comments powered by Disqus
- The Real Reason the American Economy Boomed After World War II
- Florence Revives Medieval Plague-Era ‘Wine Windows’ for Contactless Service
- Tulane Canceled a Talk by the Author of an Acclaimed Anti-Racism Book After Students Said the Event Was 'Violent'
- Sunday Reading: Hiroshima
- More Than a Century Before the 19th Amendment, Women were Voting in New Jersey
- Black Americans Who Served in WWII Faced Segregation and Second-Class Roles
- Lincoln Library Cancels Exhibition Over Racial Sensitivity Concerns
- Nixon Did Call the Military on Protesters. He Just Covered It Up.
- Historians Pay Tribute: ‘Today We Live In John Hume’s Ireland, And Thank God For That’
- Let Us Drink in Public