Thirty years after the culture wars, identity politics is now the norm on college campuses--and it hasn't been an unalloyed good for our education system or the country. Though the civil rights movement, feminism, and gay pride led to profoundly positive social changes, William Egginton argues that our culture's increasingly narrow focus on individual rights puts us in a dangerous place. The goal of our education system, and particularly the liberal arts, was originally to strengthen community, but the exclusive focus on individualism has led to a new kind of intolerance, degrades our civic discourse and fatally distracts progressive politics from its commitment to equality.
William Egginton is the Decker Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute at John Hopkins University. His highly praised books include How the World Became a Stage, The Theater of Truth, The Philosopher’s Desire, and The Man Who Invented Fiction. Egginton lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and Vienna, Austria, with his family.