In 1987 The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom's famously ferocious critique of the corrosive effects of political correctness in American universities, exploded like a bomb in the halls of the academy; even today, its conservative analysis is constantly enlarged upon by academics and political pundits alike, from Dinesh D'Souza to William J. Bennett. In The Opening of the American Mind, Lawrence W. Levine has produced a direct rebuttal. The conservative complainers are, he says, discomfited by perfectly healthy developments in education. Levine argues that opening the academic canon to cultures beyond Western civilization is a natural and laudable outgrowth of the increasing diversity of America. The universities are changing, says Levine, to keep in touch with the real world, and are "doing a more thorough and cosmopolitan job ... than ever before."
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