The scathing critique of President Barry Mills and the College's perceived lack of intellectual diversity, which appeared in the latest issue of the conservative Claremont Review of Books, triggered several responses from members of the College's faculty this week.

The Claremont Review essay, written by Thomas Klingenstein, asserts that there exists at the College an overly liberal atmosphere that limits intellectual discourse on campus.

In reply to Klingenstein's claims, Associate Professor of History Patrick Rael wrote a letter to the Claremont Review addressing many of the criticisms that Klingenstein—who cited the history department as a glaring example of the College's liberal bias—levied against Bowdoin's intellectual environment.

Specifically, Rael took issue with Klingenstein's characterization of the history department's course offerings.

"It is not too difficult to scan a course listing and draw erroneous assumptions," Rael wrote. "Mr. Klingenstein, though, has marshaled egregiously sloppy thinking in the service of scoring cheap rhetorical points. The claim that in our department 'every course is social or cultural history' rather than 'political, military, diplomatic, constitutional, or intellectual history' is categorically and demonstrably false."

"This year alone we are teaching courses in the history of the Cold War, American cities, and sports and leisure in the United States," the letter continued, "as well as a slew of foundational courses in what many would term 'western civilization,' including 'War and Society,' 'The Making of Modern Europe,' and 'Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation Europe.'"

Professor of Government Allen Springer said that while he has not heard a great deal of discussion about the article in his department, the argument Klingenstein makes—that institutions of higher learning are somehow out of touch with the rest of Americans—is not a particularly new one.

"For me, whether someone is political or conservative or has a particular political bent is far less important than how effective they are at teaching and allowing and, in fact, encouraging these different perspectives," he said.

"There is a critical difference between having a view and advocating a view," wrote Rael in an email to the Orient. "We are all entitled to our own personal perspectives and private views. But we are not permitted to turn the classroom into a platform for indoctrinating students. One of the most fundamental values of our profession insists that we be able to separate our own personal agendas from the task of coaching students toward critical thought."

Associate Professor of English Peter Coviello said "to comment at all is to grant the Claremont Review piece a seriousness that it does not in any degree warrant."

Rael also said he was not anxious about either Klingenstein's essay or the intellectual climate at Bowdoin.