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A trenchant critique of failure and opportunism across the political spectrum, this argues that social mobility, once a revered hallmark of American society, has ebbed, as higher education has become a mechanistic process for efficient sorting that has more to do with class formation than anything else.
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About the Author

Catherine Liu is the director of the University of California-Irvine's Humanities Collective, an associate professor in Film and Media Studies and Visual Studies. She is the author of Oriental Girls Desire Romance (a novel) and Copying Machines: Taking Notes for the Automaton and coeditor of The Dreams of Interpretation: A Century Down the Royal Road.

Reviews

We are now supposedly in a postracial moment, with an African American president who came of intellectual age in the 1980s, yet if we are to fully confront the changing face of education and politics in this era of perpetual war, economic decline, and virulent authoritarian populist Tea Party dissent, it is crucial to begin unraveling our recent history. Catherine Liu offers a compelling polemic for liberalism a dirty word for 1960s New Leftists and 1990s neoconservatives alike and any book that annoys these two poles definitely has much going for it. Bringing her considerable knowledge of critical theory about film, literature, media, and philosophy to bear on this historical problem by linking trends within supposedly left/liberal humanities scholarship to the discourse of conservative punditry, "American Idyll" is nothing less than brilliant. Paula Rabinowitz, author, "Modernism, Inc."" "We are now supposedly in a postracial moment, with an African American president who came of intellectual age in the 1980s, yet if we are to fully confront the changing face of education and politics in this era of perpetual war, economic decline, and virulent 'authoritarian populist' Tea Party dissent, it is crucial to begin unraveling our recent history. Catherine Liu offers a compelling polemic for liberalism--a dirty word for 1960s New Leftists and 1990s neoconservatives alike--and any book that annoys these two poles definitely has much going for it. Bringing her considerable knowledge of critical theory about film, literature, media, and philosophy to bear on this historical problem by linking trends within supposedly left/liberal humanities scholarship to the discourse of conservative punditry, American Idyll is nothing less than brilliant."--Paula Rabinowitz, author, Modernism, Inc. We are now supposedly in a postracial moment, with an African American president who came of intellectual age in the 1980s, yet if we are to fully confront the changing face of education and politics in this era of perpetual war, economic decline, and virulent authoritarian populist Tea Party dissent, it is crucial to begin unraveling our recent history. Catherine Liu offers a compelling polemic for liberalism a dirty word for 1960s New Leftists and 1990s neoconservatives alike and any book that annoys these two poles definitely has much going for it. Bringing her considerable knowledge of critical theory about film, literature, media, and philosophy to bear on this historical problem by linking trends within supposedly left/liberal humanities scholarship to the discourse of conservative punditry, "American Idyll" is nothing less than brilliant. Paula Rabinowitz, author, "Modernism, Inc."" "We are now supposedly in a postracial moment, with an African American president who came of intellectual age in the 1980s, yet if we are to fully confront the changing face of education and politics in this era of perpetual war, economic decline, and virulent 'authoritarian populist' Tea Party dissent, it is crucial to begin unraveling our recent history. Catherine Liu offers a compelling polemic for liberalism--a dirty word for 1960s New Leftists and 1990s neoconservatives alike--and any book that annoys these two poles definitely has much going for it. Bringing her considerable knowledge of critical theory about film, literature, media, and philosophy to bear on this historical problem by linking trends within supposedly left/liberal humanities scholarship to the discourse of conservative punditry, "American Idyll" is nothing less than brilliant."--Paula Rabinowitz, author, "Modernism, Inc".

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