The Issue at a Glance

Carol Iannone


Poetry and Western Civilization
Catharine Savage Brosman, Tulane University (emerita)
By all means, read poetry—good poetry, says Catharine Savage Brosman. Despite those seeking to undermine canonical works and the societies that produced them, poetry remains central to the Western heritage and “trains the mind in discrimination, evaluation, and mental acuity, producing instruction and pleasure.”

Yelling FIRE on Campus: Free Speech Leaders and Laggards
Robert Maranto, Martha Bradley-Dorsey, University of Arkansas
Robert Maranto and Martha Bradley-Dorsey utilize 2021 data from 154 college campuses to decipher the relative levels of free speech on America’s campuses. The campuses with the least impressive scores on free speech might surprise you.

Democracy and Adult ESL Education during COVID
Janet L. Eyring, California State University, Fullerton (emerita)
With millions streaming across America’s southern border, a crisis in English as a Second Language instruction is upon us. The silence of ESL teachers in the face of a disastrous open border policy is deafening . . . and telling.

Christian Students on a Secular Campus
Cola Buskirk
Despite the warnings given to young Christian students about hedonistic college campuses, journalist Cola Buskirk finds that at Stanford, many of these students arrive to find a plethora of lively Christian organizations and curious nonreligious classmates. In many important ways, Buskirk writes, hedonism “has died and left its rotting carcass for crows.”

Acting like an Actress
Carol Iannone
The 1990 cinematic failure of Tom Wolfe’s bestselling, politically explosive 1987 novel Bonfire of the Vanities continues to draw great interest. While a recent edition of a book about the movie offers a number of possible causes for its failure, it also suggests Hollywood’s embrace of modern feminism has left any number of humiliated actresses in its wake.  

The Progressive Assault on American Philanthropy
Edward S. Shapiro, Seton Hall University (emeritus)
Progressives have long attacked philanthropy for perpetuating the concentration of wealth, sacrificing the public good to private gain, and disseminating pro-market ideas and programming. A recent book focusing on Jewish Philanthropy reveals the basic antagonism: progressives believe that government bureaucrats are better equipped to be the custodians of the nation’s private wealth than those who have earned it.


Where to the Woke?
Matthew Stewart, Boston University
Humanities professor Matthew Stewart navigates the stark differences between an academic activist, a center-right journalist, and a university president, each of whom has authored a recent book explaining the rise of woke progressivism at American universities.

Beyond Bakke
John Rosenberg
As the nation awaits the Supreme Court ruling in two important cases on affirmative action and racial discrimination in higher education, John Rosenberg clarifies the complex history of such rulings, while reviewing three important recent books on race in America.


Classics: Inside Out and Upside Down
Joshua T. Katz
At a four-day conference in November of 2022, former Princeton Professor of Humanities Joshua T. Katz defended the study of Classics against the “loud voices inside the academy” that have “been calling for burning down the field” and accusing it of operating within “an epistemological framework of white supremacy and patriarchy.”

We Must Re-Establish Standards in Higher Education
Michael Wesley Suman, University of California at Los Angeles
Declines in admissions standards and academic rigor, as well as grade inflation, are some of the problems outlined in a letter from a UCLA sociologist to the school’s Academic Senate Program Review committee.

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