Good and Bad People in America's Chinese Studies

Contemporary Chinese Thought 30 (2):78-82 (1998)
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One might say that the majority of scholars, experts, and professors in the United States are of the bookish type. Most of them are content with immersing themselves in academics in the ivory towers of their academic palaces and prefer to exist in solitude; they seldom seek the limelight in the media, and in general rarely engage in politics. Apart from a very few exceptions at Harvard University and at a number of research institutes, not many people serve as "think tanks" to defend American government policy or give advice and suggestions. American scholars generally regard themselves as liberals, assume some sort of critical attitude toward the American government, the U.S. Congress, and the American media and maintain the lofty, aloof-from-politics-and-worldly-considerations attitude of scholars and specialists—or, as the intellectual elite, maintain a distance from society and actual politics. Of course, the circumstances of scholars who engage in studies closely linked with the actual operations of American society, such as economics, political science, the science of international relations, and the science of international politics, are rather special, and they have more opportunities to go into politics. But when they engage in academic studies, they place great emphasis on the academic and independent nature of their studies



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