In 1993, Yale computer science professor David Gelernter opened what he thought was an unsolicited doctoral dissertation. It exploded, destroying his right hand and eye and making his torso resemble a construction site. Gelernter, bleeding and "royally annoyed," walked to the local hospital, keeping his feet trudging along in time with "an old Zionist marching song with a good strong beat." When he got there, his blood pressure measured zero and surgeons barely saved his life. "Music is useful," Gelernter observes.
While doctors rebuilt Gelernter, he published three books. In this one, Gelernter talks about getting blown up and sewn up and vehemently argues that society is losing its lifeblood--its belief in moral authority. He blames this on the takeover of the national mindset by the liberal intellectual elite, whose anything-goes ethic has silenced the drumbeat of tradition that used to keep us all in line. Though he doesn't directly blame the intellectual liberals for the Unabomber's actions, he does locate the madman on a continuum of modern social degradation. Drawing Life is an impassioned, not tightly reasoned argument and will make few converts to Gelernter's brand of conservatism. It's interesting as all get out though, with lots of clever lines and quirky insights. It's a good thing the Unabomber didn't silence Gelernter--a stubborn mind is a terrible thing to waste.
From Library Journal
In June 1993, a mail bomb sent by the Unabomber critically injured Yale computer science professor Gelernter (his right hand and eye were permanently damaged). Ostensibly an account of the author's physical and emotional recovery, this book is actually an extended diatribe against the media, the ruling intellectual elite, feminism, and all the other liberal elements that have ruined society. For Gelernter sees the Unabomber's actions as a metaphor for what is wrong with this country. "The blast that injured me was a reenactment of a far bigger one a generation earlier, which destroyed something basic in this society that has yet to be repaired." Unfortunately, any sympathy for Gelernter is quickly dissipated by his heavy-handed and repetitious theorizing. Liberals (if there are any left) will fling this book across the room, while conservatives will simply be bored by the tedious prose. [See also Gelernter's Machine Beauty, reviewed on p. 208.?Ed.]?Wilda Williams, "Library Journal.-?Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.