The arguments over political correctness were not new to the 1990s, but took on a life of their own when discussions of college and school curricula were hotly debated in the media. On one side stood reformists who wished to see the inclusion of multicultural history and literature, on the other, conservatives who argued for a basic core curriculum that retained much of what had been known as the heart of the western civilization. In an ever-expanding field of knowledge, what was essential and what could be saved for later, more in-depth study? Proponents of the need to expand the concept of history argued that the dominant, "dead white males" of typical Western Civilization courses were but a small fraction of the picture of our past and needed to be expanded to include the contributions of women and those of various ethnic heritages. Critics charged that to forego the study of crucial individuals and facts in...
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