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Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus

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As it "illuminates the crisis of liberal education and offers proposals for reform which deserve full debate" (Morton Halperin, American Civil Liberties Union), "Illiberal Education" "documents how the politics of race and gender in our universities are rapidly eating away traditions of scholarship and reward for individual achievement" (Robert H. Bork). (Education/Teachin As it "illuminates the crisis of liberal education and offers proposals for reform which deserve full debate" (Morton Halperin, American Civil Liberties Union), "Illiberal Education" "documents how the politics of race and gender in our universities are rapidly eating away traditions of scholarship and reward for individual achievement" (Robert H. Bork). (Education/Teaching)


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As it "illuminates the crisis of liberal education and offers proposals for reform which deserve full debate" (Morton Halperin, American Civil Liberties Union), "Illiberal Education" "documents how the politics of race and gender in our universities are rapidly eating away traditions of scholarship and reward for individual achievement" (Robert H. Bork). (Education/Teachin As it "illuminates the crisis of liberal education and offers proposals for reform which deserve full debate" (Morton Halperin, American Civil Liberties Union), "Illiberal Education" "documents how the politics of race and gender in our universities are rapidly eating away traditions of scholarship and reward for individual achievement" (Robert H. Bork). (Education/Teaching)

30 review for Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    This is spot on and tells us a lot about the problems we are experiencing as a society today. Unfortunately, this kind of problem needs to be addressed at the very beginning of education (kindergarten and the early grades). By the time kids get to high school it's really almost too late to try and remediate. Schools need to start having the guts to hold kids back if they haven't mastered skills at their grade level. We have become a society where truth and mastery no longer are of primary import This is spot on and tells us a lot about the problems we are experiencing as a society today. Unfortunately, this kind of problem needs to be addressed at the very beginning of education (kindergarten and the early grades). By the time kids get to high school it's really almost too late to try and remediate. Schools need to start having the guts to hold kids back if they haven't mastered skills at their grade level. We have become a society where truth and mastery no longer are of primary importance, feeling good about yourself is. This is why we are rapidly falling behind other societies around the world. My Chinese and Korean students are head and shoulders above my American students. This book helps explain why. Highly recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John

    I generally believe abridged versions of books are to be avoided at all costs, but I decided to make a rare exception in the case of ILLIBERAL EDUCATION. After all, it was written more than 25 years ago and represents one of Dinesh D'Souza's very first literary offerings. I was curious about it, but figured it probably wouldn't hold up very well in the year 2017. So, I decided to take a shortcut and listen to an abridged version on audio cassette read by Joseph Campanella. And while the sound qua I generally believe abridged versions of books are to be avoided at all costs, but I decided to make a rare exception in the case of ILLIBERAL EDUCATION. After all, it was written more than 25 years ago and represents one of Dinesh D'Souza's very first literary offerings. I was curious about it, but figured it probably wouldn't hold up very well in the year 2017. So, I decided to take a shortcut and listen to an abridged version on audio cassette read by Joseph Campanella. And while the sound quality was crappy, I was nonetheless mesmerized by the information I was hearing. Despite its age, ILLIBERAL EDUCATION deals with the same issues in higher education that America faces today. Published a few years after Allan Bloom's influential THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND, D'Souza's book covers some of the same ground, but from the perspective of a recent graduate rather than a wizened professor nearing his retirement. The book discusses how programs like Affirmative Action ultimately hurt the very minorities they were created to help, and how blind devotion to the concept of "diversity" generally results in self-segregation among students and decreased mutual respect among faculty members. Cultural relativism and a lack of consistent standards further inhibit students from receiving a first-rate education, especially when professors would rather teach politically correct falsehoods than politically incorrect truths. ILLIBERAL EDUCATION demonstrates that these problems have been around a very long time, and that too great an emphasis on race, gender, and sexual orientation has resulted in an entire generation of self-perceived "victims" competing over perceived marginalization status. It's a commonly debated topic on YouTube, if not on college campuses themselves, but one that D'Souza does a superlative job of exploring--at least in the three hours of audiobook material I heard, which I'm guessing was less than half of the book's total runtime. Don't underestimate this book the way I did; do yourself a favor and read it in full.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hubert

    It's worthwhile to read a conservative screed to hone ones arguments in favor of a multicultural education. The author wrote this when he was rather young, so he might be forgiven for the way in which he meanders around a bit. This book propelled D'Souza to celebrity status, perhaps a bit too early, and perhaps prevented him from doing more serious academic work. A proper response to this text would take a long time, but here are some starting points. Implementing a proper curriculum is not as si It's worthwhile to read a conservative screed to hone ones arguments in favor of a multicultural education. The author wrote this when he was rather young, so he might be forgiven for the way in which he meanders around a bit. This book propelled D'Souza to celebrity status, perhaps a bit too early, and perhaps prevented him from doing more serious academic work. A proper response to this text would take a long time, but here are some starting points. Implementing a proper curriculum is not as simple as deciding whether to include works from Western or non-Western authors; perhaps that was how the debate was framed by some in the late 80s but such framing seems simple-minded in 2018. Nowhere in the work does he tout any of the benefits of communities (read student groups) that might benefit from learning about shared experience. It might be more instructive to look at someone like Martha Nussbaum who much more persuasively connects how a liberal arts education rooted in close study of core works from multiple traditions can be applied to a contemporary global society. A number of inaccuracies populate the book. Just one example: he claims that minority student groups exclude on the basis of race or gender. This is an impossibility, and student groups who discriminate are not eligible for student group funding (nor are they allowed to host events on campus, I believe). For example I am aware of a number of non-Asian American students who were members of Asian American student groups in the mid-90s. These students wanted an extracurricular avenue outside of formalized curriculum that would enrich their collegiate experience. How is this a bad thing? By the way, there is a huge rabbit hole to be dug when evaluating D'Souza's recent life and work. He did an anti-Obama documentary, dated conservative rabble-rousers Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham, and was convicted of campaign finance fraud and then pardoned by President Trump. Woah!

  4. 4 out of 5

    John Nelson

    This book has become something of a classic in the literature describing left-wing lunacy on college and university campuses. The author ably describes the problem in all its manifestations, at least as they existed in 1991. His approach is fair and balanced throughout; indeed, he takes great pains to describe opposing arguments on their own terms. D'Souza aptly diagnoses the disease underlying the symptoms. The contemporary left despises and fears liberal democracy. However, it has failed to id This book has become something of a classic in the literature describing left-wing lunacy on college and university campuses. The author ably describes the problem in all its manifestations, at least as they existed in 1991. His approach is fair and balanced throughout; indeed, he takes great pains to describe opposing arguments on their own terms. D'Souza aptly diagnoses the disease underlying the symptoms. The contemporary left despises and fears liberal democracy. However, it has failed to identify an alternative vision that can win any measure of support. As a result, leftists have resorted to speech codes, overwrought rhetoric, political demagoguery masquerading as scholarship, intimidation, and sometimes even outright violence to achieve their objectives. If anything, the problem has only become more extreme since this book was published in 1991. D'Souza offers no solution, and I have none either. The problem is clear; finding its cure is the task that now must be tackled.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    I was at Harvard when the young Dinesh first realized that a career could be had of converting his outrage into cash. He wrote this book and I purchased a copy. Harvard was in the throes of political correctness, and it was somewhat disheartening to see my entire worldview challenged by what, at times, could seem like trivialities. So I “feel his pain.” Or I did. Before. Now, having been out of the U.S. for nearly twenty years I fail to see what he is so angry about. Or rather, I can still under I was at Harvard when the young Dinesh first realized that a career could be had of converting his outrage into cash. He wrote this book and I purchased a copy. Harvard was in the throes of political correctness, and it was somewhat disheartening to see my entire worldview challenged by what, at times, could seem like trivialities. So I “feel his pain.” Or I did. Before. Now, having been out of the U.S. for nearly twenty years I fail to see what he is so angry about. Or rather, I can still understand what he is angry about, but I think, having gained the perspective of great distance, he is angry about the wrong thing. There are more important issues that need to be addressed, and I cannot understand the blindness, the failure to see them, unless it is the blindness of rage. The antidote to rage induced blindness is distance. So do us all a favor, Dinesh. Count to ten, maybe go visit your relatives overseas for a year or two or five. But at least get some perspective, and a grip.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jane Fournier

    I have read one of Dinesh D'Souza's books and enjoyed it. Now I'll start this one in the midst of the turmoil of our education system in the USA and we will see what he has to say. Although the book was written some years ago, Dinesh hits the nail on the head as to why our colleges became the way they have become. I have a son that attended 3 different colleges counting a junior college. 2 in Colorado and 1 in Florida. He came out a dedicated Democrat and ended up with a Master's in English and E I have read one of Dinesh D'Souza's books and enjoyed it. Now I'll start this one in the midst of the turmoil of our education system in the USA and we will see what he has to say. Although the book was written some years ago, Dinesh hits the nail on the head as to why our colleges became the way they have become. I have a son that attended 3 different colleges counting a junior college. 2 in Colorado and 1 in Florida. He came out a dedicated Democrat and ended up with a Master's in English and English Literature. He is very bright but I thought then and I know now that he was taught his Socialist ways in University settings. He taught for 6 years in local high schools and was very frustrated as a lot of his students were Hispanic and not at all interested in learning English. Now he teaches in China where all his students K-12 are very interested in learning English. What's with that?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Carpenter

    In depth presentation of the effects of affirmative action and critical race theory on university campuses makes this book an eerily forward looking expose from thirty years ago explaining why for decades campuses have been powder kegs of racial tensions, increased self-segregation, and indoctrination centers producing graduates with hyper-racial worldviews.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marcus Devin

    Hardback

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bob Pollock

    I liked the general promise of the book and the conclusion. It's almost like serendipity that I started this book a couple of days before all of the unrest in this country. I have two thoughts: University education and standards have been outdated for about 20 years. Education needs to be more career focused. The cost of college is so high that students end up deep in debt. Yes, the lofty ideals of Cicero, Plato and others are important. However, their relevance in modern society is questionable I liked the general promise of the book and the conclusion. It's almost like serendipity that I started this book a couple of days before all of the unrest in this country. I have two thoughts: University education and standards have been outdated for about 20 years. Education needs to be more career focused. The cost of college is so high that students end up deep in debt. Yes, the lofty ideals of Cicero, Plato and others are important. However, their relevance in modern society is questionable. Those lofty ideals could be studied independently. I'm interested in some of that so I make time to read a little over two books a month to learn. Second, the way to solve the racial divide is at the elementary and secondary level. It requires deep thought and an attempt at sociological change. I was a sportscaster for many years. Though I'm white, I understand the minority existence--it's tough in the hood. College is basically too late. We're preparing the inner city students to fail. It won't be easy. I'm too old to be a part of the solution, but it must be done. Demographers tell us the nation will have no majority race by 2050. Thus these challenges must be met by the under 40 crowd.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kendra Cox

    Well-written, lots of good information.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Hammill

    Terrible plot. Not engaging at all. Kept waiting for some kind of twist to make it exciting, but it never came.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Interesting perspective about our schools.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Scott Souza

    Fascinating look at the changing of American colleges in the late 80's and early 90's. Fascinating look at the changing of American colleges in the late 80's and early 90's.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Louis

    This is an older book by D'Souza but it was excellent. An in-depth, well-researched look into how the very policies developed by liberals to supposedly advance the effort of increasing minority college graduates has done nothing but create angry balkanizations within college student populations, cast doubt on the actual merit of minority achievements (by causing people to assume that all minorities succeed only through the benefit of lower standards), and increase the level of minority dropouts This is an older book by D'Souza but it was excellent. An in-depth, well-researched look into how the very policies developed by liberals to supposedly advance the effort of increasing minority college graduates has done nothing but create angry balkanizations within college student populations, cast doubt on the actual merit of minority achievements (by causing people to assume that all minorities succeed only through the benefit of lower standards), and increase the level of minority dropouts due to feelings of inadequacy when placed in a setting that does not match their skill set, all in the name of diversity. His answer...allow for a percentage of affirmative action-style set-asides, but based not on skin color but on socio-economic need. A thoughtful and well reasoned book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    elvedril

    An interesting look into the changes that took place at American universities in the late 80s. The author raises interesting points, though he tends to come off as somewhat dismissive of those he disagrees with and seems to really want to show the reader how much smarter he is than some of the professors he interviews. Despite that the book does a good job of showing the changes that were occuring and suggests some of the dangers that they might lead to.

  16. 4 out of 5

    William Lawrence

    Hasty generalizations plague this book. The premise that some students are discriminated against and passed up for lower scoring students based on race is indeed a problem, if we are to base admissions on test scores alone, but D'Souza is just too manipulative with his politically charged language. Hasty generalizations plague this book. The premise that some students are discriminated against and passed up for lower scoring students based on race is indeed a problem, if we are to base admissions on test scores alone, but D'Souza is just too manipulative with his politically charged language.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cris

    Dinesh is a good speaker and has good ideas but this book is not very representative of that. A good idea, a badly organized book. While I understand the author's need to provide factual information a condensation of the facts is a good thing. What I really wanted was an analysis of how those ideas affected the climate of education and this was not it. Dinesh is a good speaker and has good ideas but this book is not very representative of that. A good idea, a badly organized book. While I understand the author's need to provide factual information a condensation of the facts is a good thing. What I really wanted was an analysis of how those ideas affected the climate of education and this was not it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gerhard Peters

    I like D'Souza and book is no exception. I like D'Souza and book is no exception.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    None

  20. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Duval

    Older book, but still a lot of good information.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hilton Harris

    Dinesh D'Souza talks about racism and sexism and political correctness and censorship on college campuses during the late 80's and early 90's. Dinesh D'Souza talks about racism and sexism and political correctness and censorship on college campuses during the late 80's and early 90's.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jamees

    I read this in college.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ted Poweski

    good content, poor audio quality in recording

  24. 4 out of 5

    Patricia DeVerna

    Interesting analysis of US education. Author's premise is forcefully argued. Interesting analysis of US education. Author's premise is forcefully argued.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mahesh Babu

  27. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  28. 5 out of 5

    Steve Hager

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tomas Rugel

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eric Uecker

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