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Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities


reviewed by Adam Weinberg — January 16, 2009

coverTitle: Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities
Author(s): Bruce L. R. Smith, Jeremy D. Mayer and A. Lee Fritschler
Publisher: Brookings Institution, Washington D.C.
ISBN: 0815780281, Pages: 280, Year: 2008
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Have American universities and colleges become hotbeds of left-leaning activism? In this book, Smith, Mayer and Fritschler set out to evaluate the claim that universities are too left or liberal. In a systematic and non-partisan fashion (as a research team, they claim to span the left/right spectrum), they examine a refreshing amount of new and existing data. Their findings suggest that we are asking the wrong question. The question is not, are American universities somehow political skewed, but rather why is there so little discussion of politics on American campuses.   The authors use an array of data to explore a wide range of topics. They use surveys to debunk the popular myth that universities have become controlled by a left-leaning activist faculty. They use historical data and focus groups to explore everything from Tom Wolfe’s writings to the Pennsylvania Campaign for Academic Freedom. They explain important historical shifts like the... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: January 16, 2009
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15489, Date Accessed: 10/23/2017 10:22:37 PM

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About the Author
  • Adam Weinberg
    SIT Graduate Institute
    ADAM WEINBERG is the Provost of SIT, where he also serves as the Executive Vice President of World Learning. In his role, he oversees academic programs in 43 countries. He has published widely on the ways that higher education can serve as a resource for economic, social and political development. Most recently, he authored a paper with Carol Bellamy for the Washington Quarterly entitled, “Education and Cultural Exchanges to Restore America’s Image.”
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