Political activity and student unrest have been recurring phenomena in American universities even after they reached their apogee in the 1960s. In Rebellion in the University, Seymour Martin Lipset reviews that turbulent period and places it in a larger historical perspective. He analyzes the source of student activism, the roles played by the faculty, the spectrum of campus political opinion, and the history of American campus protest.
Two decades after this book was first written, the academic community is once more sharply divided over issues of political correctness. The term refers to the efforts by campus advocates of leftist politics to control the content of speech, courses, and appointments, and to impose their views with respect to multiculturalism, minority rights, and feminism. Lipset's new introduction is a major effort to account for this new wave of repressive moralism, to explain the issues involved, to locate sources of support and opposition, and to voice a judgment about the current situation in the American academic community.