Assault on Amer­i­can Excellence

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2013

The for­mer dean of Yale Law School argues that the fever­ish egal­i­tar­i­an­ism grip­ping col­lege cam­pus­es today is out of place at insti­tu­tions whose job is to pre­pare cit­i­zens to live in a vibrant democ­ra­cy. In his tenure at Yale, Kro­n­man has watched stu­dents protest the names of build­ings and seen col­leagues resign over emails about Hal­loween cos­tumes. He is no stranger to recent con­fronta­tions at Amer­i­can uni­ver­si­ties. But where many see only the sup­pres­sion of free speech, the baby­ing of stu­dents, and the dri­ve to bury the imper­fect parts of our his­to­ry, Kro­n­man rec­og­nizes a threat to our democ­ra­cy. The founders of our nation knew that to have a robust demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­ern­ment, its cit­i­zens must be trained to have tough skins, make up their own minds, and win argu­ments not on the basis of emo­tion but because their side is clos­er to the truth. Kro­n­man makes the argu­ment that to grad­u­ate as good cit­i­zens, col­lege stu­dents have to be test­ed in a sys­tem that isn’t whol­ly focused on being good to them.

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