“Tree hugging. Gun taking. Wealth hating. Leftist loving. Sound like a nightmare?” The announcement for the 2011 annual meeting of the National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, D.C., added, “For most college students, this is an accurate portrayal of their professors and peers and the left wing ideas they espouse.” For a nominal fee, conservative students were invited to spend six days and five nights learning how to “stand up for and advance” ideas they believe in.
Generally regarded as bastions of the left, college campuses these days have their fair share of right-wing organizations and activists. In “Becoming Right,’’ Amy Binder, an associate professor of sociology at the University of California, San Diego, and Kate Wood, a graduate student, provide an in-depth and informative examination of who the conservatives are, the impact of campus culture on the formation of their identities and activist styles, and the implications for the direction of US politics.