Book Reviews -- Dogmatic Wisdom: How the Culture Wars Divert Education and Distract America by Russell Jacoby

By Saunders, Robert, Jr. | National Forum, Spring 1995 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews -- Dogmatic Wisdom: How the Culture Wars Divert Education and Distract America by Russell Jacoby


Saunders, Robert, Jr., National Forum


RUSSELL JACOBY. Dogmatic Wisdom: How the Culture Wars Divert Education and Distract America. New York: Doubleday, 1994. 235 pages. $22.95.

Russell Jacoby, well-known author of The Last Intellectuals, adds much insight into the "culture wars" currently raging on some American college campuses. This conflict has arisen in part because of such widely read books as Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, Dinesh D'Sousa's Illiberal Education, and Arthur Schlesinger's The Disuniting of America, which argue that relativism, deconstruction, and multicultural education have threatened western thought, traditions, and culture The author writes that, "Conservatives protest that education has lost its mind. Radicals respond that it is better than ever" Jacoby suggests that both sides in the argument are "nearsighted." The central thesis of Dogmatic Wisdom is that the current debate is distracting academicians from their principal responsibility: educating students. Moreover, the author believes that the debate should not be whether colleges are inclusive, tolerant, or multicultural--they are already all of these.

Rather, academics should be more concerned with how to make American society--one racked with racism, violence, and hate--more tolerant and more inclusive.

Jacoby insists that the decline of enrollments in the liberal arts during the last two decades cannot be traced to an overemphasis on non-Western culture or from courses in gender and peace studies. Instead, this decline echoes an American society obsessed with gaining material possessions. It is no coincidence, he writes, that the number of business-management and marketing majors rose dramatically as the quest for consumer goods seemed to have overwhelmed many Americans. This was not the result of an illiberal education but of an illiberal society. If any education is illiberal, he writes, it is that which promotes "specialization and professionalization" for the mere purpose of securing a lucrative job after graduation.

Presenting himself somewhat as a free-ranging critic--for the author discusses a variety of issues in a series of occasionally disjointed chapters--Jacoby asserts that the debate over multiculturalism is, by and large, one based on ideology and relatively unreflective of American society at large. "Citizens [and academicians] wrangle over multiculturalism...," he writes, "meanwhile the irresistible power of advertising and television converts multiculturalism into a monoculture of clothes, music, and cars." In recent years, he says, many conservatives have asserted that American higher education has declined because it is firmly under the control of radical leftists who have instituted curricular reforms designed to denigrate Western Civilization. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Book Reviews -- Dogmatic Wisdom: How the Culture Wars Divert Education and Distract America by Russell Jacoby
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.