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.

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|

Wolfe’s Witness

Tom Wolfe died last week. His works will live on for a long time. There is a scene in Wolfe’s 1968 book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test that, once read, is never forgotten. He’s on assignment for New York Magazine, riding in a 1939 school bus painted in wild colors and packed with

By | 2018-05-20T13:42:07+00:00 May 20th, 2018|

The Joys of Anti-Hate

It is one thing to document objectively crimes that target individuals because they are members of a particular identity group. It is another thing to frame people who follow a biblical definition of marriage, worry about children of same-sex parents, or want stricter immigration policies as demons and crazies. The organizations that monitor

By | 2018-04-26T11:38:43+00:00 April 27th, 2018|

To Restore Free Speech, Discipline is Necessary

Some students at Kennesaw State University outside Atlanta have filed a lawsuit against the university, and for a very good reason. They are members of the Young Americans for Freedom, and they allege they’re the victims of discriminatory treatment by the administration. The facts aren’t complicated. The group invited Katie Pavlich to visit

By | 2018-03-20T15:19:24+00:00 March 20th, 2018|