Andrew Hartman is a professor of history at Illinois State University focusing on U.S. intellectual history. He is the author of Education and the Cold War: The Battle for the American School (2008) and A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars (2015). He is currently at work on his third book, "Karl Marx in America," which is contracted to be published by the University of Chicago Press. Hartman is the winner of two Fulbright Awards. He was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark for the 2013-14 academic year, and he was the Fulbright British Library Eccles Center Research Scholar for 2018-19. Hartman was the founding president of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History. He has been published in a host of academic and popular venues, including the Washington Post, Baffler, Chronicle of Higher Education, American Historian, Journal of American Studies, Reviews in American History, Journal of Policy History, Salon, Jacobin, Bookforum, and In These Times.
Whether the culture wars in higher education during the 1980s and 1990s had political consequences is debatable. But that they had enduring historical significance is inarguable. Shouting matches about academia reverberated beyond the ivory tower to lay bare a crisis of national faith, demonstrating that the culture wars did not boil down to any one specific issue or even a set of issues. Rather, the culture wars often hinged on a more epistemological question about national identity: How should Americans think?