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CAUT Bulletin Archives

April 2010

Academic Repression:

Reflections from the Academic Industrial Complex

Peter McLaren, Steven Best & Anthony J. Nocella, II, eds. Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2010; 600 pp; ISBN: 978-1-90485-998-7, paper $24.95 US.
Since 9/11, the Bush administration has pressured universities to hand over faculty, staff and student work to be flagged for potential threats. Numerous books have assessed the climate of academic freedom over the years, but this study asks whether the concept still exists in the American university system. It addresses not only overt attacks on critical thinking, but also — following trends unfolding for decades — engages the broad socio-economic determinants of academic culture. Slowly but surely, the university is being transformed from a space for free thinking, experimentation, and philosophical education in the broadest sense into a narrow, restrictive, utilitarian institution that serves the needs of corporations, government, science and technology and the military. This edited anthology brings together a powerful response to the attacks on critical thinking by 38 prominent academics.

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