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Anti-Intellectualism in American Media

Magazines & Higher Education


Dane S. Claussen

In this book, Dane S. Claussen argues that the news media have fed vocationalism and self-doubt in higher education, and anti-intellectualism throughout American culture. Analyzing articles in popular national magazines since the G.I. Bill of 1944, Claussen finds that media have overwhelmingly portrayed college as a time and place for students to play sports, date and marry, drink and take drugs, protest, join fraternities and sororities, go on vacations, avoid the draft, escape their parents, and, perhaps most of all, network and find jobs – in short, do almost anything except research, study, write, think, or debate. In the tradition of Richard Hofstadter’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Anti-intellectualism in American Life and Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind, Claussen illustrates the counterintuitive and underestimated – nearly overlooked – role of the news media in higher education and anti-intellectualism.