Professors, Politics, and Pop

Jon Weiner, Author, Jon Wiener, Author Verso $29.95 (366p) ISBN 978-0-86091-356-6
Frank Sinatra, a liberal-left activist in the 1940s, was a has-been at age 34, his entertainment career destroyed by the right-wing press. His little-known political shift from left to right which preceded his subsequent comeback and ``coincided with a deepened contempt for women'' is the subject of one of these gutsy, interesting, well-documented essays. In another, Wiener, contributing editor at the Nation , tells how Harvard sociologist Talcott Parsons helped the State Department smuggle Nazi collaborators into the U.S. after WW II. Originally published in the Nation , Village Voice and elsewhere, these 42 pieces cover such topics as Watergate, Nixon's attempt to have John Lennon deported, Yale deconstructionist Paul de Man's war-time collaboration with Nazis, Harvard's commercial ties to bio-technology research, and the socially committed reggae singer Bob Marley. Those who mock so-called political correctness, Wiener opines, often underestimate the marked rise at U.S. campuses of slurs and actions that are anti-woman, anti-gay and racist. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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