Right-Wing Pressure in Academia – James DiEugenio

In 1951, at the height of Sen. Joe McCarthy’s hunt for disloyal Americans, William F. Buckley wrote a polemic against liberal education entitled God and Man at Yale, accusing Yale instructors of advocating collectivism and undermining Christianity.

Buckley was relatively unknown at the time, but his book contained a foreword by the famous journalist John Chamberlain, who had worked for the New York Times and Life and was undergoing a political shift to libertarian and conservative causes.

In 1951, Chamberlain worked at the Wall Street Journal and agreed with Buckley that teaching Keynesian economics was somehow collectivist. Buckley always maintained that God and Man at Yale was successful because of Chamberlain’s name.

Although the book did not do what the author wanted it to do – get the alumni at Yale to constrain liberal ideas in the classroom – it did help launch Buckley’s career, which included the publishing of the influential conservative magazineNational Review and starting his famous interview show Firing Line.

Buckley and the book’s influence also made the college campus a latent target of the growing Right in America, which did not like the leftist activism exhibited in academia in the 1960s and 1970s.

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