William Egginton is the Decker Professor in the Humanities and Director
of the Alexander Grass Humanities at the John Hopkins University. He is very upset over the lack of concern for or commitment to the virtue of civility in contemporary America. The university is one of the few places in society where one would expect to see respect for different ideas and ideals. But instead of affirming community, college students have turned to identity politics where rancor and even violence hold sway.
Egginton's chapters focus on identity (the culture wars, the liberal imagination and the authoritarian underbelly, hyperspecilization, and more), inequality (the disappearance of the American dream, divisiveness, and more), and community (media literacy, learning to think, the idea of America, and more). After covering a lot of ground with cogent and searing arguments, he ties all the pieces together in fine fashion. We especially appreciated his support for the positive roles the traditional liberal arts (our own background) can play in helping the development of equality and equalitarian idealism.