Past Present Podcast: The LSAT, George W. Bush, and Corporal Punishment

George W. Bush

In this week’s episode of Past Present, Natalia, Niki, and Neil debate Harvard’s decision to drop the LSAT, George W. Bush’s newfound popularity, and corporal punishment.


Harvard Law School will no longer require the LSAT for admission. Natalia placed the LSAT in the history of standardized testing and recommended Harold Wechsler’s The Qualified Student and Jerome Karabel’s The Chosen for the history of selective college admissions. Neil noted recent racial tensions at Harvard Law School.

George W. Bush

George W. Bush’s approval ratings continue to climb since leaving office, although Natalia noted the folks at Jacobin remain critical of his presidency. Niki recommended Jim Mann’s books Rise of the Vulcans and The Obamians for thinking about continuities between the Bush and Obama presidencies.

Corporal Punishment

In a recent editorial for the New York Times, Stacey Patton asked African-American parents to “Stop Beating Black Children.” Niki noted a counterargument to Patton’s from Slate’s Jamelle Bouie. Neil discussed how James Dobson’s 1970 classic Dare to Disciple shaped evangelical parents’ ideas about spanking. Natalia mentioned that J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and Annette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods both comment on how economic class affects corporal punishment rates.

What’s Making History

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