Mark Bauerlein

About Mark Bauerlein

Mark Bauerlein is a senior editor at First Things and professor of English at Emory University, where he has taught since earning his Ph.D. in English at UCLA in 1989. For two years (2003-2005) he served as director of the Office of Research and Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. His books include Literary Criticism: An Autopsy, The Pragmatic Mind: Explorations in the Psychology of Belief, and The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future. His essays have appeared in PMLA, Partisan Review, Wilson Quarterly, Commentary, and New Criterion, and his commentaries and reviews in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, The Guardian, Chronicle of Higher Education, and other national periodicals.

White Privilege Doesn’t Mean Anything—And That’s the Point

If you’re intimidated by a racially loaded term such as “white privilege,” as so many conservative leaders and commentators seem to be, then you don’t belong in a position of power. A game is being played on you, and you don’t understand the rules. Here’s how it works. Take a look at this

By | 2019-02-12T20:52:44+00:00 February 12th, 2019|

Who Wants These Professors?

Last year, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the industry periodical for academia, published a commentary under the title “The Whitesplaining of History Is Over.” The first sentence went like this: When the academy was the exclusive playground of white men, it produced the theories of race, gender, and Western cultural superiority that underwrote

By | 2019-01-24T20:44:23+00:00 January 24th, 2019|

Normal President Trump

In a speech at the National Press Club in October 2016, Peter Thiel revised Donald Trump’s campaign slogan from “Make America Great Again” to “Make America Normal Again.” Liberals and leftists would choke on that assertion today. Nothing is more abnormal to them than Donald Trump in the White House. They still believe,

By | 2019-01-09T23:50:26+00:00 January 10th, 2019|

Democratic Politicking, Old and New

The energetic dispatch with which liberals throw -ism charges at conservatives and Republicans is no surprise, and the targets are right to invoke civic principles in response. But sometimes it’s better to raise the other side’s past as a worthy contrast to its degraded present. This isn't how Democratic politicians have always talked.

By | 2018-11-04T18:40:07+00:00 November 5th, 2018|

Political Correctness and the Enlightened Ones

A story in the Atlantic recently bore the title "Americans Strongly Dislike PC Culture." A summary of the same subject in Reason magazine announced, "Study: 80% of Americans Believe Political Correctness Is a Problem." Then Business Insider reported, "Political Correctness is widely unpopular with Americans of all ages and races, a study finds,"

By | 2018-10-22T20:02:43+00:00 October 23rd, 2018|

The Angry Affluent Liberal

Sarah Jeong’s nasty tweets raise a personal question, not a political one: why is she so bitter when she has enjoyed so much success? Her animus against white people sounds like a teen version of 1960s-era race radicals who demonized the white race as, in Susan Sontag’s infamous words, “the cancer of human

By | 2018-08-31T21:02:56+00:00 August 30th, 2018|

Normal Makes a Comeback

Trump supporters who work in intellectual zones have to laugh at the latest efforts to discredit the president because he is allegedly “not normal.” It is OK to suspend the ordinary rules of civility and oust Sarah Sanders from a restaurant, the critics say, because Trump’s administration is beyond the pale, off the

By | 2018-07-04T10:25:52+00:00 July 5th, 2018|

Liberalism and the Abnormal Trump

The enduring triumph of liberalism was not the civil rights movement, women’s liberation, open borders, or even Obergefell v. Hodges. Something more fundamental happened long ago that made those changes possible. Liberalism began when a space was carved out in society wherein people of different beliefs and backgrounds could go about their business

By | 2018-06-26T21:54:13+00:00 June 27th, 2018|