Literature Lost: Social Agendas and the Corruption of the Humanities
John M. EllisISBN: 0300075790; 9780300075793;
Having deconstructed one of his bugaboos in Against Deconstruction (not reviewed), Ellis (German Literature./Univ. of Calif., Santa Cruz) now goes after the race-gender-class triad of academic political correctness. The Culture Wars have slowed only a little in the media since the first salvos in the early '90s, fired in such books as Dinesh d'Souza's Illiberal Education. Ellis, the secretary of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, and an occasional writer for the Chronicle of Higher Education on political correctness, is slightly more interested in the intellectual underpinnings of literary radicals than in fracases at tenure meetings and conferences; but he is deeply concerned about the deleterious effect of both on academic freedom and higher learning. As something of an old-fashioned humanist, Ellis's style tends to be measured and levelheaded when he's analyzing the Western tradition and the recurrence of philosophic radicalism and intellectual orthodoxy. His lively...