During the Sixties and early Seventies, public attention was briefly focused on the University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus, where student protests reached levels of violence that were astonishing even for that violent time in American life. Many people concluded that the radicals had virtually taken over the campus. They were right, of course. Since then, the violence has subsided, but the radical control has not. The Left is institutionally entrenched here, and there is no better place to observe its baleful effects than in the university’s English department.

Of course, all the recent trends of academic life are evident in Madison, as they are on so many campuses across the country. In the English department, a student is much more likely to read Kate Chopin than Herman Melville, if he reads American literature at all. (There is no American literature requirement for English majors, or...


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