A More Conservative Place: Intellectual Culture in the Bush Era

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UPNE, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 261 pages
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Identifying the historical antecedents of President George W. Bush's imperial ambitions and the sources of the reactionary thought and politics that underlie them, Paul A. Bove shows how neoconservatism represents a singular danger to democracy. At the same time, he criticizes the equally disheartening inability of the academic Left to oppose neoconservatives and its tendency to mirror their views instead. Divorced from historical knowledge and intellectual rigor, the neocon mindset reflects a cultural and historical amnesia that feeds on ignorance and conformity. Exposing the threats to national survival inherent in the alliance of right-wing politics and academic tribalism, Bove emphasizes the need to reconnect with the powers of imagination and the complexity of human historical experience. With urgency and passion, Bove shows how the neocons have succeeded in cowing or coopting academic intellectuals and how language has been used and abused for the maintenance and extension of an undemocratic regime.
 

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Contents

1 A Retrospective Introduction
1
2 American Universalism and Its Democracy
29
3 Area Studies Revisited
38
Henry Adams and Counterstrategy
44
5 Can American Studies Be Area Studies?
49
American Resources for Theorizing America
72
7 Curiosity in The Education of Henry Adams
87
8 Can We Judge the Humanities by Their Future as a Course of Study?
102
10 Rights Discourse in the Age of USChina Trade
123
11 Historical Humanist American Style
139
12 The Ineluctability of American Empire
147
13 The Intellectual as a Contemporary Phenomenon
161
Intellectual Failure in the New World Order
173
15 Why the Neocons Hate Henry Adams
202
Notes
219
Index
253

9 Humanities and the Changing Role of Worldly Engagement
114

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About the author (2013)

PAUL A. BOVE is distinguished professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, author of numerous books, and editor of the journal Boundary 2.