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Palgrave Macmillan

Why Higher Education Should Have a Leftist Bias

ISBN 9781137349644
Publication Date December 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Education, Politics and Public Life

In this interdisciplinary application of rhetorical analysis, Donald Lazere argues that college educators should publicly address and teach students to be aware of the conservative biases in American politics, media, and education itself that are generally assumed to be the norm of 'business as usual.' Because only bias on the left has been publicly 'marked,' mainstream discourse shuts out any proportionate comparison with all the biases on the right—surveyed here at length. Lazere appeals to conservative scholars and intellectuals to engage in good-faith dialogue with leftist counterparts toward a balanced assessment of opposing biases.

Donald Lazere is Professor Emeritus in the Department of English at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, USA.

Introduction: The Dilemma of Culture-Wars Polemics: Distinguishing Valuable Originals from Gross Parodies
1. Conservatism as the Unmarked Norm
2. Restricted-Code Conservatism
3. Socialism as a Cognitive Alternative
4. The Conservative Attack Machine: Admit Nothing, Deny Everything, Launch Counterattack
5. Right-Wing Deconstruction: Mimicry and False Equivalences
6. From Partisan Review to Fox News: Neoconservatives As Defenders Of Intellectual Standards
7. Conservative Culture-War Scholarship: Fair and Balanced?
8. Balancing Commitment and Fairness: Giving Conservatives Their Best Shot
9. A Case Study: Conservative versus Leftist Views on College Costs
10. The Radical Humanistic Canon
Conclusion: An Appeal to Conservative Readers


"One of the highest compliments we pay fellow teachers is, 'I wish I could have taken one of their classes.' I thought that often as I read Why Higher Education Should Have a Leftist Bias. Donald Lazere's careful framing of questions, coherent arguments, and concise writing are refreshing. He is open and honest about his moral and political commitments, as well as open and honest about the need for all of us to challenge each other. For decades, Lazere has attempted to engage right-wing critics of the academy while also honestly accounting for the postmodern excesses of some left scholars, and this book is a delightful account of that struggle." - Robert Jensen, Professor, School of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin, USA
"Donald Lazere's Why Higher Education Should Have a Leftist Bias is no polemic; it is a thoughtful and provocative argument for a much broader and engaging intellectual and political culture. It is a vital contribution to a debate all students and teachers, and many other Americans, should be having." - Robert W. McChesney, Gutgsell Endowed Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
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