Hardisty, Jean V.
HARDISTY, Jean V.
Female. Education: Northwestern University, Ph.D.
Home—Somerville, MA. Office—Political Research Associates, 1310 Broadway, Suite 201, Somerville, MA 02144; fax: 617-666-6622. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Beacon Press, 25 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108.
Political activist and educator. Taught at the university level for eight years, c. 1970s; Political Research Associates, Somerville, MA, founder and executive director, beginning in 1981; currently president emerita. Center for Research on Women, Wellesley College, visiting research scholar; member of board of directors for Center for Women Policy Studies, Sister Fund, Highlander Center, and the Women's Community Cancer Project; education consultant to the Ms. Foundation Democracy Funding Circle.
Myers Outstanding Book Award, Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights and Bigotry, 2000, for Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers.
Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers, Beacon Press (Boston, MA), 1999.
Rights for Some: The Erosion of U.S. Democracy: A Report from Political Research Associates, Political Research Associates (Somerville, MA), 2001.
After teaching college students for eight years, in 1981 Jean V. Hardisty founded Political Research Associates (PRA), a research center that studies the political Right and maintains a huge library of printed sources accessible to scholars, journalists, and activists. A progressive organization, the PRA was established to aid against what its members see as the authoritarian, antidemocratic intentions of political conservatives. Hardisty's research on the Right was published in her first book, Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers. The book studies various conservative organizations, such as the Christian Coalition and political groups that label themselves the New Right, and their opinions on issues ranging from feminism and homosexuality to family life and religion; Hardisty finds their philosophies contrary to the ideals of true democracy and believes conservatives conceal dangerous notions behind a cloak of noble-sounding rhetoric.
A number of reviewers commenting on Mobilizing Resentment found Hardisty's evaluations somewhat paranoid and unfair. For example, an Economist contributor wrote that "her call to resist a 'well-financed, well coordinated, savvy movement that has developed brilliant techniques of manipulation' sounds as conspiratorial as some of her countrymen's call to arms against a Zionist invasion by the United Nations." Even more problematic, said a Publishers Weekly critic, "though Hardisty tries to see the 'human' element of conservative social and political movements, she still exhibits a classic form of liberal contempt." Still, the critic remarked that Hardisty's arguments are "strong."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Economist, November 18, 2000, review of "The Politics of Hate; Books-in-Brief: The Far Right," p. 6.
Publishers Weekly, August 30, 1999, review of Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers, p. 64.
Political Research Associates,http://www.publiceye.org/ (August 15, 2004), profile of Hardisty.
20th-Century-History-Books.com,http://20th-century-history-books.com/ (July 12, 2004), review of Mobilizing Resentment.*