In the interest of injecting some sanity into the escalating attacks on truth, Robert Pacquette, a history professor at Hamilton College, recently wrote that although he’s a traditional historian who teaches the principles of limited government and respect for private property, he doesn’t think that those facts register with today’s students.
However, according to the new rules adopted by “the eleven elite liberal arts colleges that make up the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), which includes Amherst, Williams, Trinity, and Wesleyan,” “not one of these eleven colleges requires undergraduates to take a single course in American history.” In fact, most of these eleven elite colleges don’t even require that students who are majoring in history take any American history courses.”
However, non-western history is another story entirely. For example, Amherst only asks history majors to take “one course each in at least three different geographic areas.” The United States is but one of six geographic areas from which students can choose. Bowdoin College’s history department offers eight fields of study. Four “non-Euro/U.S. courses” are required, but not one US history course. Pacquet notes that in 2007, “one-third of all history majors at my college, Hamilton, were graduated without one course in American history.”
“As the American historians in my department battled to remedy this disgrace, the majority voted a minor concession: Starting with the class of 2012, all majors must take one course in US history, although the non-Western requirement would remain: ‘Three courses must focus upon areas outside of Europe and the United States.’
This topic prompted some interesting comments, including the following:
“Odd, isn’t it, that the book reading public has an insatiatible thirst for traditional history. Case in point: O’Reilly & Dugard’s books on the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations both sit atop the bestseller lists. Military history is hugely popular, as are bios of past presidents. Guess the great unwashed public is out of step with academia.”
“I am reminded of the time my daughter came home from 4th grade excited from learning about Eleanor Roosevelt. After listening to her recitation, I asked if she knew who Eleanor Roosevelt was married to and what he did. Nope, her teacher didn’t cover that. She only spent one more year in public schools; switched her to private schools with more rigorous classes.”
“More than 50% of the new PhDs are now trained in women and gender history, in cultural history (a watered-down version of social history), in world and African-American history”
So basically over 50% of our new history PHD’s specialize in politicized crap. . . . And it’s even worse, since no sensible business would ever hire any of these useless idiots, most of them will go to academia, leaving even less history professorships in the hands of competent people that actually know history.
Here is the fix: (1) Dump Women’s Studies; (2) Develop Conservative Studies; (3) Eliminate tenure.
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Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.
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