The Ideological Tilt of Harvard University Press

George Leef

The latest Econ Journal Watch contains an illuminating article by David Gordon with assistance from Per Nilsson. In it, Gordon and Nilsson categorize ten years of titles from Harvard University Press, first culling out all those that have no philosophical angle, then categorizing the remaining books as: communitarian, tending communitarian, left, centrist leaning left, centrist, centrist learning conservative, conservative, and classical liberal. Of the books, Gordon places 55 percent on the left (i.e., in the first four categories) and only 15 percent on the right (the last four). Gordon offers this evaluation of university presses in general: "My impression is that many, if not most, of the prestigious university presses tilt heavily to the left. It would be useful if someon made a thorough investigation of the most prestigious university presses. Such an investigation would make a good book project -- though probably not one with much chance at HUP."

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