God and Man at Yale
Cover of the first edition
|Author||William F. Buckley, Jr.|
God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of “Academic Freedom” is a 1951 book by William F. Buckley Jr., who eventually became a leading voice in the American conservative movement in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Buckley wrote the book based on his undergraduate experiences at Yale University. In the book, he criticized Yale and its faculty for forcing collectivist, Keynesian, and secularist ideology on its students. He criticized individual professors by name, arguing that they tried to break down students' religious beliefs through their hostility to religion. Buckley also states in the book that Yale was denying its students any sense of individualism by making them embrace the ideas of liberalism. Buckley argues that the Yale charter leaves oversight of the university to the alumni, and argues that because most alumni of Yale believed in God, that Yale was failing to serve its "masters" by teaching course content in a matter inconsistent with alumni beliefs.
Reviews and legacy
God and Man at Yale received mixed reviews when it was first published. Many American academics and pundits underestimated the ultimate impact that the book and Buckley would have on American society, thinking that it would quickly fade into the background. Quite the opposite happened, as Buckley used it as a launching pad into the public eye. Buckley himself credited the attention his book received to the "Introduction" written by John Chamberlain, writing that it "chang[ed] the course of his life" and that the famous Life editorial writer had acted out of "reckless generosity." Buckley went on to be an active force in the conservative movement through the political magazine he started, National Review, and his television show Firing Line. The book and its author played a crucial role in tying together the different factions of the arising conservative movement to form a potent political force.
- Godfrey Hodgson, The World Turned Right Side Up: A History of Conservative Ascendancy in America (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996), pp. 75–77
- “William Buckley.” American Decades CD-ROM. Gale Research, 1998. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. (Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2005)
- The Revolt against the Establishment: God and Man at Yale at 50, by Austin W. Bramwell, The Intercollegiate Review, Fall 2001.
- Denis Boyles, God, Man, Buckley, and Me, National Review, Feb 29, 2008.