America Goes to College

Political Theory for the Liberal Arts

By John E. Seery

Subjects: Education
Paperback : 9780791455920, 256 pages, November 2002
Hardcover : 9780791455913, 256 pages, November 2002

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Table of contents


Introduction: Political Theory for the Liberal Arts


1. My Turn: A Great Bookish Tell-all

2. The Columbus Controversy as Confession


3. George Kateb's Main Thing

4. What Teaching at Pomona College Means to Me


5. Moral Perfectionism and Abortion Politics

6. Political Philosophy in the Twilight of an Idol


7. Grant Wood's Political Gothic

8. Do Media Studies Belong in a Liberal Arts Curriculum?


9. Unremembered Acts Remembered

10. Castles in the Air: An Essay on Political Foundations


11. Political Theory in the Twentieth Century

12. America Goes to College: A Manifesto of Sorts



Extols the virtue of small liberal arts colleges and the liberal arts tradition.


A rallying cry on behalf of a distinctly American institution of higher learning—the small liberal arts college—America Goes to College combines broad-based scholarship with personal narrative and reflection. In a highly entertaining manner, John E. Seery showcases the precarious successes of a well-rounded liberal arts college education, while at the same time signaling some of the dangers that loom on the horizon. Seery contends that the liberal arts are best pursued within the face-to-face interactive setting, characteristic of the small college classroom, as opposed to the large university lecture hall. Moreover and more provocatively, he identifies political theorists as the proper custodians and practitioners of the liberal arts tradition as it unfolds today. It is the unfettered freedom of the small liberal arts college, where vision and practice can actually coincide, that makes it the embodiment of the advantages of the American higher education system—a national treasure deserving of support.

John E. Seery is Professor of Politics at Pomona College. He is the author of Political Theory for Mortals: Shades of Justice, Images of Death; Political Returns: Irony in Politics and Theory, from Plato to the Antinuclear Movement; and coeditor (with Daniel W. Conway) of The Politics of Irony: Essays in Self-Betrayal.