Just how radical are all those English professors whose seminar rooms ring with talk of différance, discourse formations, institutional critique, Eurocentrism, textual interrogations, marginalization, empowerment, the political unconscious, etc., etc., etc.? What sort of threat does the academic literary gauchiste pose to the established order? In Academic Capitalism and Literary Value, a collection of essays first published in such journals as Critical Inquiry, The Georgia Review, and The Hudson Review, Harold Fromm portrays the purported revolution in literary study as hardly “revolutionary at all [but] an exemplary specimen of capitalism in action.”

Fromm does more than accuse professional radicals of careerism, hypocrisy, clubbish exclusivity, and other bourgeois failings. He examines at close range a broad sample of influential texts produced by feminists, deconstructionists,...


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