David Hackett Fischer Interview

Jim Bennett, over at his Anglosphere blog Albion’s Seedlings, links to an interview with David Hackett Fischer in the American Enterprise Online. Of course, the title of Bennett’s blog is a reference to DHF’s masterpiece Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. Regular readers of this blog know DHF is an intellectual hero of mine. Bennett has selected a few noteworthy passages. I found this one the most interesting, since I ardently hope it is true.

TAE: In Liberty and Freedom, you list a handful of groups in American history that have “put themselves outside the broad tradition of liberty and freedom”—among them certain apologists for slavery, early-twentieth-century Communists, and “elements of the academic left in American universities during the late twentieth century.” Are there any signs that this last group is withering?

FISCHER: Yes, things are changing very rapidly in academe. I think it was partly a generational phenomenon. The generation that came of age in the 1960s is now approaching retirement in the universities, and their children and grandchildren are very different in the way they think about the world. The excesses of these movements always build in their own corrections.


(I mentioned two of Fischer’s books favorably in this post.)