The Glenn Show: The End of the American Century
My guest this week is Daniel Bessner, associate professor of history at the University of Washington and a man of the left. But this isn’t a culture war sparring match—in fact, you may be surprised at how often we find ourselves in agreement. According to him history is in decline. Not capital-H “History,” but the professional study of history. With tenured professorships in his field disappearing and low-paying, precarious teaching positions becoming the norm, he wonders whether history as a discipline will be able to survive.
Daniel’s concerns about the decline of history as an academic discipline is nested within a more expansive critique of the university as a whole. The university’s liberalism, Daniel argues, has left it ill-prepared to respond to economic pressures that are gutting the professoriate in many fields. There are larger forces at work that Daniel sees as precipitating potentially more dire crises for the country as well, particularly America’s role as a global economic and military power. Is the US’s support for Ukraine really in our best interest? Or are we walking a path that could lead to disastrous consequences for the country if, say, China invades Taiwan?
This is a rigorous (and fun!) episode, and I have a feeling commenters are going to have a lot to say about it. I’m looking forward to reading what you come up with.
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