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Indoctrination U: The Lefts War Against Academic Freedom Paperback – March 23, 2009


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Indoctrination U: The Lefts War Against Academic Freedom + The Black Book of the American Left: The Collected Conservative Writings of David Horowitz + Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books (March 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594032378
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594032370
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,586,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Horowitz grew up a "red diaper baby" in a communist community in Sunnyside, Queens. He studied literature at Columbia, taking classes from Lionel Trilling, and became a "new leftist" during the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. He did his graduate work in Chinese and English at the University of California, arriving in Berkeley in the fall of 1959. At Berkeley, he was a member of a group of radicals who in 1960 published one of the first New Left magazines, Root and Branch. In 1962 he published the first manifesto of the New Left, a book titled, Student, which described the decade's first demonstrations.

Horowitz went to Sweden in the fall of 1962 where he began writing The Free World Colossus, his most influential leftist book. In the fall of 1963 he moved to England where he went to work for the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and became a protege of the Polish Marxist biographer of Trotsky, Issac Deutscher, and Ralph Miliband, an English Marxist whose sons went on to become leaders of the British Labour Party. While in England Horowitz also wrote Shakespeare: An Existential View, which was published by Tavistock Books. Under the influence of Deutscher, he also wrote Empire and Revolution: A Radical Interpretation of Contemporary History, 1969.

In 1967, Horowitz returned to the U.S. to join the staff of Ramparts Magazine, which had become a major cultural influence on the left. In 1969 he and Peter Collier, who became his lifelong friend and collaborator, took over the editorship of the magazine. Collier and Horowitz left Ramparts in 1973 to write three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987).

During these years Horowitz wrote two other books, The Fate of Midas, a collection of his Marxist essays and The First Frontier, a book about the creation of the United States. Following the murder of his friend Betty van Patter by the Black Panther Party in December 1972 and the victory of the Communists in Indo-China, which led to the slaughter of millions of Asians, Horowitz and Collier had second thoughts about their former comrades and commitments. In 1985 they published a cover story in the Washington Post called "Lefties for Reagan," announcing their new politics and organized a Second Thoughts Conference in Washington composed of former radicals. Four years later they published a book of the articles they had written about their new perspective and themovement they had left which they called Destructive Generation.

In 1997, Horowitz published a memoir, Radical Son(1996), about his journey from the left. George Gilder hailed it as "the first great autobiography of his generation," and others compared the book to Whittaker Chambers' Witness.
In 1988, Horowitz and Collier created The Center for the Study of Popular Culture (the name was changed in 2006 to the David Horowitz Freedom Center) -- to create a platform for his campaigns against the Left and its anti-American agendas. The DHFC is currently supported by over 100,000 individual contributors and publishes FrontpageMagazine.com, which features articles on "the war at home and abroad," and receives approximately a million visitors per month. In 1992, Collier and Horowitz launched Heterodoxy, a print journal which confronted the phenomenon of "political correctness" focusing on the world of academia for the next ten years. In the same year he and film writer Lionel Chewynd created the "Wednesday Morning Club," the first sustained conservative presence in Hollywood in a generation. In 1996 Horowitz created the Restoration Weekend, which for the next two decades feature gatherings of leading conservative political, media and intellectual figures. In 2005 Horowitz created the website,DiscoverTheNetworks.org, an online encyclopedia of the political left, which has influenced the works of a generation of conservative journalists and authors.

With the support of the Center, Horowitz continued his writing about the nature and consequences of radical politics, writing more than a dozen books, including The Politics of Bad Faith (2000), Hating Whitey & Other Progressive Causes (2000), Left Illusions (2003), and The Party of Defeat (2008). His Art of Political War (2000) was described by Bush White House political strategist Karl Rove as "the perfect guide to winning on the political battlefield." In 2004 he published Unholy Alliance, which was the first book about the tacit alliance between Islamo-fascists in the Middle East and secular radicals in the west.

Horowitz has devoted much of his attention over the past several years to the radicalization of the American university. In 2001 he conducted a national campaign on American campuses to oppose reparations for slavery 137 years after the fact as divisive and racist, since the since there were no longer any living slaves and reparations were to be paid and received on the basis of skin color). His book Uncivil Wars (2001) describes the campaign and was the first in a series of five books he would write about the state of higher education.

In 2003, he launched an academic freedom campaign to return the American university to traditional principles of open inquiry and to halt indoctrination in the classroom. To further these goals he devised an Academic Bill of Rights to ensure students access to more than one side of controversial issues and to protect their academic freedom. In 2006, Horowitz published The Professors (2006), a study of the political abuse of college classrooms. Indoctrination U., which followed in 2008, documented the controversies this book and his campaign had created. In 2009, he co-authored One Party Classroom with Jacob Laksin, a study of more than 150 college curricula designed as courses of indoctrination. In 2010, he published Reforming Our Universities, providing a detailed account of the entire campaign.

Along with these titles Horowitz wrote two philosophical meditations/memoirs on mortality, The End of Time (2005) and A Point in Time (2011), which summed up the themes of his life. A Cracking of the Heart (2009) is a poignant memoir of his daughter Sarah which explores these themes as well.
Many have commented on the lyrical style of these memoirs. The literary critic Stanley Fish, a political liberal, has described The End of Time as "Beautifully written, unflinching in its contemplation of the abyss, and yet finally hopeful in its acceptance of human finitude."

In 2013 Horowitz began publishing a ten volume series of his collected journalistic writings and essays under the general title The Black Book of The American Left. The first volume, My Life & Times, was published in 2013; the second, Progressives, in 2014. The Black Book is filled with character and event--with profiles of radicals he knew (ranging from Huey Newton to Billy Ayers), analysis of the nature of progressivism, and running accounts of his efforts to oppose it. When completed, The Black Book will be a unique chronicle of the political wars between left and right as seen by an observer who has made a significant impact on both sides of the during his political and literary careers.

Cultural critic Camille Paglia has said of David Horowitz: "I respect the astute and rigorously unsentimental David Horowitz as one of America's most original and courageous political analysts. . . . I think that, a century from now, cultural historians will find David Horowitz's spiritual and political odyssey paradigmatic for our time."

Norman Podhoretz, former editor of Commentary magazine, says of Horowitz: "David Horowitz is hated by the Left because he is not only an apostate but has been even more relentless and aggressive in attacking his former political allies than some of us who preceded him in what I once called 'breaking ranks' with that world. He has also taken the polemical and organizational techniques he learned in his days on the left, and figured out how to use them against the Left, whose vulnerabilities he knows in his bones."

A full bibliography of Horowitz's writings is available at: http://www.frontpagemag.com/bibliography

Customer Reviews

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138 of 165 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Chapin on February 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Should Conservadom, in the spirit of positive reinforcement, ever decide to create awards for its most valuable commentators, it is quite likely that David Horowitz will be summoned to the podium each and every year until the time of his death. Few other figures have so resolutely, and creatively, battled the left over the course of the past two decades.

The cure Horowitz offers to the propagandizing of the bottom10 percent of the professorate is called The Academic Bill of Rights. The context and story behind Indoctrination U is the author's attempt to gain publicity for the proposition. Having it enacted by state legislatures was never his primary goal. What he sincerely desired was for universities to preemptively adopt its essence into their own bylaws.

The Bill itself is reproduced in an appendix. Its language is well-crafted and rather innocuous, yet one would never know this from the reaction it received from its critics. They dubbed it "crazy, Orwellian, a witch hunt," and totalitarian in nature. Their disparagement is perhaps a ruse to better enable them to protect their own privilege as tenets like, "No faculty shall be hired or fired or denied promotion or tenure on the basis of their political or religious beliefs" is not the stuff of McCarthyism. Although, should it be rigidly interpreted, a clause like, "Faculty will not use their courses for the purpose of political, ideological, religious or anti-religious indoctrination" would completely threaten the activists' way of life. Commandments like that are far more threatening than having their beloved Fairness Doctrine applied to network news broadcasts or NPR.

Those who actually discussed the initiative were generally dismissive. One proclaimed it a "solution in search of a problem.
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46 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Block on April 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In "Indoctrination U - The Left's War Against Academic Freedom" (2007), author and academic David Horowitz explores the pervasive influence within most major universities of radical-left professors who, all too often, do not teach but rather engage in a systematic program to impose their views upon their students. Horowitz and his organization's goal is to persuade all universities in America to uphold long-established principles of impartiality and excellence, and to honor academic freedom. He feels that a professor's private political views should be kept out of the classroom (as has been the case until recently), and that courses should be taught with a view towards providing all sides of academic issues so that students are encouraged to think for themselves.

Horowitz' central point is that "students have a right to expect professional (and not political) behavior from their professors in the classroom." To accomplish this objective, Horowitz and his organization have been urging the adoption of a new "Academic Bill of Rights."

Despite the non-radical nature of his proposal, which is very similar to a "Declaration of Principles of Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure" that has been in effect at American universities since 1915, Horowitz and his proposals have been met with vehement opposition and personal vilification by well-entrenched organizations and unions of college professors. Administrators and trustees, perhaps "too busy" with fund-raising and not wanting to make waves, have refused to get involved.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Since this book has fewer than 150 pages, its critics really have no reason not to read it. Yet, you will read all kinds attacks on the author as a way of dismissing his arguments without consideration. It is a kind of smear tactic that is odious whenever it is used. I urge you to not let yourself be misinformed by such tactics. Instead, read this book for yourself. I found it to be excellent and informative, but you might disagree. That is absolutely the point.

We can assess the facts and honestly come to different conclusions. The author's point, and the whole reason behind the Academic Bill of Rights, is that there is a small minority, but still a significant portion (the author estimates something like 10%) of our university classrooms that are being used to advocate specific political agendas rather than teach the students to think, analyze, and increase their abilities to make their own informed judgments.

However, it is vital to understand that Horowitz is NOT indicting all professors. Nor is he saying that there should be a purge of professors who hold left wing views. In fact, Horowitz has defended his debating opponent, Ward Churchill. He has stated that Churchill should NOT be fired for his views. That is a vital part of academic freedom. Nor is he saying that people should be hired because they hold conservative views. None of this is part of his argument. What he is calling for is that there be NO consideration of a person's politics when hiring for a teaching job. He is calling for the classroom to be an academic environment where scholarship is presented, not advocacy. He is calling for the end to what amounts to tenured, taxpayer funded political parties on campus in the guise of various "studies" groups.
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