Myth of Pol Correctness-PB

John K. Wilson, Author, Wilson, Author, John K. Wilson, Author Duke University Press $22.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8223-1713-5
Wilson, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, began this persuasive tract when he was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois. Here he debunks the ``myth'' that ``political correctness'' has taken over our nation's colleges and universities; he goes so far as to assert that political correctness as defined by conservatives such as Dinesh D'Souza barely exists. Using hundreds of highly detailed examples of real campus conflicts over issues such as free speech, affirmative action, multiculturalism in the curriculum, and gender and race relations, Wilson convincingly argues that comparisons between liberals and Nazis, Joseph McCarthy and Saddam Hussein are ludicrous, cynical hype. He is similarly effective in demonstrating that conservatives still hold most positions of real power and influence in American higher education. At times Wilson's thesis seems a tad facile and wide-eyed; further, he often shuttles too quickly from example to example--more developed discussion of certain cases (particularly those in the chapter on ``The Myth of Speech Codes'') would have been more satisfying. But given that most effective political statements are at least slightly overdetermined, the simplicity of Wilson's thesis is oddly refreshing in--and perhaps a necessary response to--an especially murky debate. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/1995
Release date: 10/01/1995
Genre: Nonfiction
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