131 of 189 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2006
It is obvious that many people do not like to have any challenge to the extremism existing in some colleges. Thats why there so many one star reviews of this book by people who obviously have not read it. While I don't always agree with the author's point of view, this is an intersting book and points out what one may be exposed to at colleges. Many professors seek indoctrination not education and free and open discussions of issues often are not allowed (if you oppose any position of some professors, you are considered a "hate monger"). I had a few crazed professors in the 1970s, but nothing as terrible as Ward Churchill or some of the others exposed in this book. I enjoyed the book and thought it was very readable. I do not think these 101 professors are representative of all college professors, most of whom are very good and seek to provide an education. This book does provide a fair warning for what is out there and takes the lid off of some often closely held secrets.
40 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2006
I have read this book and many of the reviews that rate it as only one star and I can already start to see the correlations between the illogical nonsense being spewed here in reviews and the indoctrination that goes on in colleges. I graduated from a State University four years ago with a Bachelor's degree and a private universtity two years ago with a Masters so I am pretty familiar with campus life and educational political leanings.
I also consider myself very well rounded and have read many works on both sides of the political spectrum.
The essence of Horowitz's arguments in this book and their translation into the reforms of the Academic freedom campaign are well founded.
Through my own experiences I have seen the left "army" on campuses at work. They seem to disregard and slander any opinions contrarian to their own and have zero tolerance for hearing anything they do not approve of. They will be overzealous in their attempts to quelch any form of communication that spreads ideas that do not follow their idealogies. This can be seen in the restrictive campus speech codes nationwide that are directly in conflict with our constitutional rights.The only purpose of these codes is to squash conservative opinion and not liberal.
I have never seen conservative groups work to ban free speech or conservative professors who turn their classromm into daily diatribes on the inequities of liberals in government. Yet the opposite can not be said for liberals.
While leftist rants should be expected in some Humanities classes as other reviewers have pointed out, leaving out opposite opinions only hurts education.
I am of the mindset that it is a professors job to present unbiased knowledge and facts so that students can walk away being able to analyze and form opinions of their own. In the 8 or so classes that I had to take in the humanities and socialism field I did not encounter this free exchange of ideas once. Conservative ideals and principals were glossed over while all emphasis was placed on left-leaning ideas.
The unfair and slanderous reviews here have only served to reinforce the opinions that I have of many liberal professors I have met and their "army" of followers.
1. They do not make logical arguments on government systems that stand up to historical scrutiny. (i.e they think Cuba is a bastion of humanity)
2. They tend to only study subjective disciplines where there are no absolute truths and thus they can't be judged as right or wrong.
3. All the humaities and socialism classes filled with liberals that I have taken are not even close to the intellectual challenge found in the disciplines of real knowledge where there is more of a conservative presence (science, economics, engineering, business).
Maybe if the students in today's universities were actually challenged and taught rather than being spoon fed ploitical idealogies this country would be in better shape.
Read this book if you have a childgoing off to college or if you are going soon yourself.
I also recommend the works of Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, and Star Parker.
They offer the truth.
61 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2006
David Horowitz's newest book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America. Horowitz edited and rewrote many of these entries, some of which originally appeared on a website devoted to uncloaking the identities and activities of the political left. The Professors is a compendium rather than a woven narrative, but its pages are always informative and occasionally quite stunning.
In these short, appalling mini-biographies we are made privy to the belief systems of those most responsible for the decline of the American university. Many of these academics were veterans of the counter-cultural experiment that was the 1960s, and they began their long march through the institutions after reaching adulthood. By blocking the hiring of their ideological opposition, they have created an environment wherein long disproven theories like Marxism and post-modernism are able to still flourish and emit their poison into the greater culture.
Their devotion to power and control may be totalitarian but it certainly has been effective. By denying that there is such a thing as "objectivity" they are able to repudiate the need to search for truth and turn their sections into clubs for aspiring radicals. They then excuse their actions by declaring their "engagement" and that teaching of all forms is "a political act." Veritas is replaced with opinion while students receive credit for attending rallies and writing papers about why George W. Bush is a war criminal.
The worst abuses occur in the liberal arts departments which are held prisoner to the race, gender, and class religion. Nowhere is the anti-intellectualism of these academics more prominently on display than in their racism. They claim to be "liberals," but the depth of their race-based hatred is startling.
Obviously the left will avoid reviewing this work. From my past dealings with them I believe they will summarily dismiss The Professors by labeling it a McCarthyist blacklist plot, and also that those figures discussed are in no way characteristic of college faculties on the whole.
Let me respond to the possible McCarthyist objection first. Although "Naming Names" is best practice in regards to university bias, David Horowitz does not have the power to blacklist anyone. What this work accomplishes is to merely give notice to those leftists who disguise themselves as "liberal" and excuse their propagandize with the phrase, "everything's political," that we're ready to highlight and respond to their transgressions. Identification should allow some students to avoid being subjected to their machinations. Hopefully, more and more moderates will become aware of the brainwashing in store for their children, and boycott colleges which allow lecturers to confuse activism for instruction.
As for representativeness, Horowitz addresses this question in his third chapter. He convincingly postulates that universities are conformist by nature and that faculties are formed in the image of those who do the hiring. This is the method by which our campuses have reached the point of toxicity and where radicals reign supreme. Many times the "long short list" of potential candidates for positions is narrowed down by the department chair and reflect their ideological inclinations. The rest of the department is then presented with a fait accompli or a "pick any leftist you want" scenario when approving new colleagues. The law of group polarization causes colleges to become more and more left wing as, with no dissenting opinions to counter-balance it, the center moves to the extreme.
What one is left with upon completion of The Professors is a sense of sadness. Yes, it's easy to laugh about the don who believes that teaching proper English is akin to oppression, and of the gay professor who opens sections by announcing, "My name is Michael Vocino and I like d*ck," but somebody somewhere is having their bank account, prospects, and perceptions destroyed by this useless evangelizing. Just how many sections of "Gender, Nationalism, and War," "Hip-Hop Eshu: Queen B*tch 101-The Life and Times of Lil' Kim," "They've Killed Kenny," or "Feminist Geography" must one take before being considered truly educated? Such questions are best left unanswered if you're a comptroller at a liberal arts institution.
Students mortgage their futures to pay for classes which will only delude, demoralize, and miseducate them. Only the very young and impressionable could survey America and confuse bounty, liberty, and security with oppression, conspiracy, and hate; yet, novices are exactly the people whom these pseudo-intellectuals lord over. In light of this work and the admission that school is now all-too-often a place for indoctrination, perhaps the next time someone impugns the reader for questioning the patriotism of the left, quote to him or her the words of a scholar : "Under no circumstances, therefore, should we ever support the U.S. government or believe what it says." This can be more accurately applied to the multitude of pronouncements and publications emanating from our corrupted universities.
16 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2012
Isn't it true that, whether conservative or liberal, Christian or athiest, we all support the idea of free speech? But that doesn't stop us from screaming bloody murder when individuals exercise their freedom of speech and present their convictions, debate some area of thought, or disagree completely with our own deeply wrought beliefs? Horowitz has done his research and come out with some statements about university professors he considers dangerous in some way. It is possible to disagree with him without turning ugly, name-calling, attacking him profanely, or condemning every word he writes. How many who disagree with him have read the book and done as much years-long research of these professors--enough research to write a full book about them? At least Horowitz did his homework. And it's not like Horowitz has "worn right-wing blinders" securely over his eyes all his life. He used to be liberally-minded until he was convinced otherwise by his own reading, study, experience, and observations. He had to have made many bitter enemies of friends when he courageously did that. We can respect him for that.
29 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2006
The university experience is a post-WWII phenomenon for us "little people." Before that, it was only the wealthy or the very promising to whom this precious opportunity was given. As with most things, making it available to everyone changes it to say the very, very least. The university system of modern times is a business. Nearly everyone ships their children, however thick they might be, off to get a first-class university education. These masters of SAT prep sessions and little else aren't going to line up at the Math, Science and Engineering departments so the Social Science departments are booming. Tuition funds pour in, along with alumni donations, state and federal grants and, in spite of Title IX's best efforts to the contrary, football and basketball revenues. A university professorship in the Social Sciences is one of the sweetest gigs there is, for the academic who knows how to milk it.
The university student enrolling in classes must rely on the university's materials in selecting courses, areas of study and the professors, assistant professors and teaching assistants who will provide instruction. Efforts to assemble a guide to faculty created BY and for students (and their parents) are met with academia's severest measures. Such faculty directories can not be produced, distributed or even possessed on any campus facilities (including electronic resources.) Horowitz's directory of the 101 looniest profs should be considered the first of many installments; a note of encouragement to student groups everywhere to storm the barricades and shine the harsh light of day on what their prospective teachers are all about. Students: CREATE AND PUBLISH A DIRECTORY OF YOUR SCHOOL'S FACULTY TODAY!
Horowitz states in his introduction "This book is not intended as a text about left-wing bias in the university and does not propose that this bias is necessarily a problem. [But, the] professorial task is to teach students how to think, not to tell them what to think." Somehow, those who managed to read the entire book while standing in the aisle at the local bookseller also managed to miss that bit (they may have been put off by the scary roman numerals.)
Parents: Before you send your kids off to college next fall, write a letter to the president of their prospective universities and ask if you can publish a faculty and course directory based on student and parent observations. Be sure to leave yourself time to select a different school when you hear the reaction.
25 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2006
Recently, my colleagues were promoting the divisive "scholarship" of Dr. Peggy McIntosh and her book, "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack," which, among other things, characterized European-American culture as "damaged," and Whites in general as "unfairly advantaged." I wish I had a copy of "The Professors" on hand at the time.
Meticulously documented and researched, "The Professors," by David Horowitz, describes a scene of "academic malpractice" which is repeating itself over and over in again in thousands of classrooms across the United States -- in universities, colleges, and college preparatory high schools. In classroom after classroom, instructors are abandoning the principles of inquiry for good old fashioned indoctrination.
The introductory essay on the nature of academic freedom is a must-read, the best part of the book. Horowitz quotes one-time University of California President Robert Gordon Sproul: "the function of the university is to seek and transmit knowledge and to train students in the processes whereby truth is made known. To convert, or make converts is alien and hostile to this dispassionate duty...In order to protect this freedom, the University assumed the right to prevent exploitation of its prestige by unqualified persons or by those who would use it as a platform for propaganda."
Horowitz then goes on the tell the stories over over 100 representative college and university faculty who ignore this enlightened idea, and instead use the university classroom as a platform for their extreme brand of politics. Many of the professors whom he describes have not written any books and very few scholarly articles in their fields. Some are admirers of Joseph Stalin or Osama bin Laden -- hard to believe, given what credible scholars have uncovered about the Soviet Union and Islamic Fundamentalism. A great many of them turn protest rallies and movie screenings into classroom assignments. A great majority of them are intellectually bankrupt and traitors to the idea of a true liberal arts education.
To be sure, Horowitz is wed to his conservative biases and won't abandon them for a moment. He can't believe that some people oppose the War in Iraq. He won't tolerate any sort of criticism of Israel, and denies the Deir Yassin massacre, a well-documented fact reported by several credible Arab AND Israeli historians. Some of the Professors whom he discusses appear to be guilty of nothing more than attending rallies and expressing their opinions. In a couple of cases, such as the case of Professor Eric Foner, it is not at all obvious that they used the classroom as a pulpit for their beliefs.
The vast majority of cases, however, are quite scary. Former Black Panthers (Angela Davis), Weathermen (Bernadine Dohrn and Billy Ayers) and members of La Raza (Jose Gutierrez) not only teach, but have achieved tenure. Not only are they unapologetic about their terrorist pasts, some (as in the case of Professor Gutierrez) continue to advocate violence ("we have got to eliminate the Gringo, and what I mean is that if worst comes to worst, we have got to kill him.")
It is interesting to note that Horowitz has little to say about liberals. His targets are bona fide radicals and extremists. Many are justifiably concerned about the influence of arch-conservatives in the judiciary and the military. This book sounds a credible alarm about the influence of radical politicians in universities, colleges, and high schools.
on June 30, 2014
Horowitz and his staff conducted a somewhat serious study of the academic credentials of some of the most radical college professors in the USA. Most of the writing is objective, but there are some departures into ranting. The state of the academic world is indeed of some concern, and the conclusion of the book is fair, based on the contents of the rest of the book. Of course, they have selected radicals with whom thy disagree, which is a fair game since no one who knows Horowitz's other works or who even reads the cover of this book could be misled. Minus points for including some professors who do not have faulty credentials, just lousy ideas.
13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2010
Education used to be about academic rigor, the free exchange of ideas, logical thinking, inquiry, debate, and the use of reason. Recently there has been a trend away from these standards and a movement towards leftist-political indoctrination in the university setting. I don't see how anyone who has attended a university or public school during the last 30 years can argue against this premise or find it controversial. If you read Horowitz's book, you will see that his critique is aimed at the emerging academic disciplines--peace studies, women's studies, and ethnic studies--rather than the established ones like physics or chemistry. Also, he recognizes that all professors have their biases, which is fine, but they have no right to present their biases as scientific/unquestioned facts (when they are not), and to harass and discriminate against students who do not accept their biases. Horowitz picks 101 of the most dangerous professors, and describes why he believes they are dangerous based on their backgrounds and their beliefs in their own words. If you are skeptical about what he reports, look it up for yourself. Many of these professors are popular and world renowned and their writings are widely available. Some of them may sincerely believe they are pursuing valuable knowledge, but some, like Ward Churchill--an egotistical con man--are clearly not sincere. But time will be the true judge of these people. History has shown us that just because one is lauded in academic circles does not mean he has a contribution lasting and worthwhile to offer. Look at Margaret Mead and Alfred Kinsey and even Sigmund Freud. Consider the prestige they enjoyed in their day, but does anyone take them seriously today?
13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Former liberal David Horowitz takes aim at the Left again in The Professors. Not surprisingly, he will delight conservatives while failing to gain any converts among liberals. For those of us in the middle, The Professors is a mixture of positives and negatives.
Horowitz manages, at times, to entertain. The introduction to The Professors has an interesting recap of the Ward Churchill affair at the University of Colorado. Without a doubt, some of the professors Horowitz profiles are true cranks. Horowitz recounts the careers of some interesting radicals; for instance, you will read in The Professors that people at three separate institutions thought that it was a good idea to hire former Weather Underground terrorists. Another interesting point (at least to an academic) was how little actual scholarship some of these professors had to do to get tenure at some very prestigious schools.
In spite of the high points, the 101 profiles become boring very quickly. It amazes me that Horowitz can write a boring book about controversial political issues; but the Professors was just not that much fun to read. Many of the profiles sound redundant. For instance, Horowitz heavily focuses on academics who do not support Israel; I would estimate that about 40 of the 101 "most dangerous" professors have made statements about Israel that Horowitz dislikes. These profiles tend to all sound alike after you have read the first 8 to 10.
In my opinion, The Professors is worth skimming, but I would not invest the time to read it "cover to cover." It would be a good book to borrow from your local library.
184 of 280 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2006
This book is mostly a rehash of the previous whines about various leftwing professors, and their supposed abuses. It's not nearly as entertaining as his prior book about his apotheosis, and doesn't really offer anything new or interesting. Just the formulaic list of baddies who I suppose ought to be expunged from University life for crimes real or imagined. Or maybe they should be put in Malkin-run camps. It was hard to slog through this stuff to get to the larger point, if there is one.
Perhaps there are some Oedipal/Elektra issues derived from the inculcatoin of Communist ideals from his parents underlying his radicalism. I guess I'd be ticked off too if my parents indoctrinated me so thoroughly into a failed ideology.
**For some reason, the powers that be decided to edit out the first 3 paragraphs of this review, which discussed Horowitz's prior book, Native Son, which describes his upbringing in a Communist household and early life as a radical leftist and subsequent metamorphosis into an equally rabid conservative, in favorable terms. The purpose was to illuminate Horowitz's penchant to wildly extremist views whether they be from the right or left. Why Amazon thought that was not germane to a review of this book -- the principal flaw of which is the lack of any balance or perspective -- is strange indeed. How can you excerpt all political content from the review of a book which is, itself, 100% political. More importantly, why would you bother?