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An overview of the controversial movement of anti intellectualism in america

Share via Email Isabel Allende is among writers whose work has been removed from Arizona schools under an anti-ethnic studies initiative.

  • Certainly Anti-Intellectualism earned Hofstadter high praise, and remains one of the definitive words on the subject;
  • After the Chronicle of Higher Education published an item highlighting the dissertations of five young PhD candidates in African-American studies at Northwestern University, Chronicle blogger Naomi Schaefer Riley wrote that the mere titles of the dissertations were sufficient cause to eliminate all black studies classes;
  • Half a century later, I doubt the latter and believe there is generous evidence to confirm my doubts;
  • Some resisted democracy until they died.

An Introductionso that you can decide for yourselves whether it qualifies. In fact, I invite you to take on as your summer reading the astonishingly lengthy list of books that have been removed from the Tucson public school system as part of this wholesale elimination of the Mexican-American studies curriculum.

Trying to explain what was offensive enough to warrant killing the entire curriculum and firing its director, Tucson school board member Michael Hicks stated rather proudly that he was not actually familiar with the curriculum.

  • That tradition was largely shaped by the Enlightenment, which taught American intellectuals to regard civilization with suspicion and to glorify the simple natural man;
  • Written with all the learning, wit, and sophistication that one has learnt to expect from Professor Hofstadter, this book brings together a mass of illuminating information about an aspect of American development which historians have not hitherto examined in any detail;
  • An Introduction , so that you can decide for yourselves whether it qualifies;
  • For the historian, Dewey's attitude towards the child is "more romantic and primitivist;;;
  • Maybe we think, in our collective futures, we can buy our way out of academic inferiority.

There has been an unfortunate uptick in academic book bannings and firings, made worse by a nationwide disparagement of teachers, teachers' unions and scholarship itself. Brooke Harris, a teacher at Michigan's Pontiac Academy for Excellence, was summarily fired after asking permission to let her students conduct a fundraiser for Trayvon Martin's family. Working at a charter school, Harris was an at-will employee, and so the superintendent needed little justification for sacking her.

According to Harris, "I was told… that I'm being paid to teach, not to be an activist.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, by Richard Hofstadter

There the value of education is measured in purely econometric terms, reduced to a "product," calculated in "opportunity costs. In 2010 the sixth circuit upheld the firing of high school teacher Shelley Evans-Marshall when parents complained about an assignment in which she had asked her students in an upper-level language arts class to look at the American Library Association's list of "100 most frequently challenged Books" and write an essay about censorship.

She was also alleged, years earlier, to have shown students a PG-13 version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The court found that the content of Evans-Marshall's teachings concerned matters "of political, social or other concern to the community" and that her interest in free expression outweighed certain other interests belonging to the school "as an employer. Expression is a teacher's stock in trade, the commodity she sells to her employer in exchange for a salary.

Anti-Intellectualism Is Just As Revolutionary As Liberalism—and Much More Dangerous

One is a rather stunning sense of privilege, the confident sense of superiority that allows someone to pass sweeping judgment on a body of work without having done any study at all. After the Chronicle of Higher Education published an item highlighting the dissertations of five young PhD candidates in African-American studies at Northwestern University, Chronicle blogger Naomi Schaefer Riley wrote that the mere titles of the dissertations were sufficient cause to eliminate all black studies classes.

Riley hadn't read the dissertations; they're not even published yet. When questioned about this, she argued that as "a journalist… it is not my job to read entire dissertations before I write a 500-word piece about them," adding: The publication topics become more and more irrelevant and partisan.

No one reads them. Happily, there is pushback occurring against such anti-intellectualism.

The Dynamics and Political Implications of Anti-Intellectualism in the United States

One of the most vibrant examples is a protest group called Librotraficante, or Book Trafficker. Organised by Tony Diaz, a Houston Community College professor, the group has been caravanning throughout the south-west holding readings, setting up book clubs, establishing "underground libraries," and dispensing donated copies of the books that have been removed from Arizona's public school curriculum.

You can donate by visiting librotraficante.

  • These signs suggest we simply don't take public education seriously, don't require enough homework or high standards, at least compared to many First World countries;
  • The anti-intellectualism associated with the growth of democracy was directed against the pretensions of educated aristocrats and professional men who—in the early days of the Republic—constituted a kind of American Establishment;
  • It is hard to imagine a more cock-eyed conviction, absurd if not so tragic;
  • By encouraging, or even requiring, students to take stands where they have neither the knowledge nor the intellectual training to seriously examine complex issues, teachers promote the expression of unsubstantiated opinions, the venting of uninformed emotions, and the habit of acting on those opinions and emotions, while ignoring or dismissing opposing views, without having either the intellectual equipment or the personal experience to weigh one view against another in any serious way.