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America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered In the Obamacrats) Hardcover – June 26, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The argument goes something like this: American society in general and America's universities in particular were led before the war by WASPs. Their orientation was more social than intellectual. They celebrated patriotism and duty. Their training grounds--the universities--prepared people for leadership that included, e.g., significant participation in the OSS and, later, the CIA. Ivy league men were routinely members of the officer class in the military, fighting side by side with blue-collar enlisted men. One way of thinking of this (not the author's words) is that the nation was more English, with firmer class lines, a greater sense of noblesse oblige, a higher regard for tradition and a culture that, to put it plainly, was far less crude than today's. That does not mean that it was perfect. Far from it, but it enjoyed certain advantages that are now largely lost.
Then, a change occurred and the change was in the colleges and universities. They became more intellectual and less social. They became more left-leaning than right-leaning. They spawned a society of post-religious, global intellectuals, one driven by left/liberal ideology.Read more ›
The book is a polemic, it's a thumping on the table, not an analytical work like Charles Murray's "Coming Apart" However, there are tons of empirical data that support his assertions (I will be happy to provide such data upon request, or just for one sample in the social psychology realms, google "Admitting to Bias inside higher ed"). Prof. Gelernter's past achievements (LINDA system, Worldbeam) should give some pause, google "worldbeam gelernter java" and read what he has seen in the past long before anyone 20 years ago. He was also one of the Unabomber victims.
As far as the content is concerned: I spend 16 years in these types of elite universities both as a student and CS faculty member. I left academica because I could not stand it anymore. By and large, his observations are true: About PORGI and airhead acolytes being in charge at both at the faculty and Dean level; the disdain for the principles and sovereignty of the United States and the fervent wish to subsume its institutions and laws to foreign dicta and mores; glib ingratitude towards and hatred of the US military and ROTC students; equating US patriotism with jingoism, a position borne not out of weighted argument but by apodictic ordre du mufti; "fly-over country" and anti-Texan snobbery; the ahistorical, acausal and unquestioned anti-American, anti-Western narratives undisturbed by facts, logic and argumentation that are not taught, but pounded into students; the fawning over the post-American PORGI know-nothing president in the mainstream press and among the lumpen-intelligentsia in academia. If this sounds like it cannot be true, read Kimball's "Tenured Radicals" about the state of affairs in the 80s and 90s, read for a couple of months the Chronicles of Higher Education.Read more ›
Gelernter is a master of the image, simile and metaphor. His writing is a pleasure to read. He is widely read, and his sources are different than mine. His ideas tie to those of Robert Trivers "The Folly of Fools," Michael Shermer "The Believing Brain," and a lot of what Stephen Pinker writes.
You can read the thesis of the book in other reviews. Fundamentally, he contends that the leftist intellectuals took over academia sometime after World War II. Having seized control of the educational establishment, they indoctrinated generations of children to the point that they are now knee-jerk, instinctive leftists. He calls them PORGIs, post religious globalist intellectuals. As many other writers have done before him, he notes that however intelligent they may be, they do not think for themselves, simply regurgitating the received wisdom which they have been fed since they were in grammar school. The lesson is anti-religion, anti-American, against patriotism, and for diversity. Whatever that means, and provided the diversity embraces only the right people.
His solution is to take education out of the hands of the educational establishment. He proposes delivering education over the Internet. I am working on a book of my own about how I am going to school my 10-month-old child when the time comes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the in-depth (and mostly) unpleasant look at PORGIs - post-religious globalist intellectuals, Barack Obama being their poster child. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ulsterman
Excellent book, dealing with the cultural changes in American society largely led by the academic world. Not for the better, but read it and judge for yourself.Published 7 months ago by Myron M. Miller
Very good but Biblically and historically illiterate as most are.Published 14 months ago by R. Davis
On June 24, 1993, David Gelernter, then an associate professor of computer science at Yale University, opened a package in his office that exploded, tearing off most of his right... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Jeff Minick
This superb book is the best brief explanation I've read about how the Left took over our education system and the catastrophic consequences that have followed. Read morePublished on November 8, 2013 by A Martin
I admit I am more on the liberal and leftist end of the political spectrum, but I always try to keep an open mind to different opinions and was intrigued by this book's premise and... Read morePublished on June 19, 2013 by M.K.
never have i seen such an amount of wisdom compacted into so few pages. this should be required reading for everyone in the country. Read morePublished on May 9, 2013 by James E Wagner