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University in Chains: Confronting the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex (The Radical Imagination) Paperback – July 2, 2007
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Henry Giroux is a tribune for democracy. He sees universities as democratic public spheres that must be defended in the repressive aftermath of 9/11. His new book is a tool we need to get the job done. --Ira Shor, CUNY Graduate School
Henry Giroux has been like a canary in the mine of U.S. culture when he sends an alert, you know something is really amiss. If you have worked or studied in one of our universities, this is essential reading. --Toby Miller, author of Cultural Citizenship
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Top Customer Reviews
"The University in Chains" is a stunning tour-de-force that rigorously examines the multi-tiered military, corporate and right-wing assaults on the university and culture. Giroux writes with a clarity and urgency that is riveting; his impassioned concern for education, human rights and meaningful democracy is inspiring; and, importantly, his critical insights into how we can break the chains and transform the university into a substantive democratic public space committed to providing students and citizens with tools and skills to address our most pressing problems are empowering and necessary.
The book is essential reading for everyone inside and outside the academy concerned with the increasing and foreboding militarization of the world, the corporate takeover of every corner of human life, and the narrowing ideological impositions of right-wing "super-patriot" fundamentalists. The book moves crucially from critique to a call for intervention and is therefore indispensable for those attentive to the need for fighting back, as well as those interested in matters of pedagogy, public education, social justice, human rights, and producing a meaningful democratic vision, culture and practice.
The section on "The Necessity of Critical Pedagogy" is an invigorating and powerful statement that brings much depth and meaning to the practice and theory of critical pedagogy. It will help those both familiar and unfamiliar with critical pedagogy gain a deeper grasp, and one hopes, commitment.
If you are a student, teacher, professor, or citizen READ THIS BOOK carefully, and share it widely. It is a vital contribution toward a path to a more decent and meaningful human existence for all.
In the first part of the book, Giroux makes a compelling argument that institutionalized forms of academics have succumbed to the national security state and to a mythico-masculine idealization of American imperialism. Giroux writes that this military-industrial-academic complex has taken over American universities, that the intersection of corporatism and militarization legitimizes and normalizes a constant state of terror/fear (especially embodied in our culture since 9/11), and that the academy is a contested terrain in which such struggles manifest in a unique and singular way.
Though this first part is clearly rooted in an Enlightenment-democracy-model of education and thus has its agenda and ideological orientation, it's not ostentatiously polemical. The second part, however, degenerates rapidly into polemical rantings: he complains that Horowitz speaks in "sweeping monolithic terms" of "the Left", while speaking in sweeping monolithic terms of the "formidable alliance of far-right-wing foundations", conservative talk-show hosts, thinktanks, and the like. He bemoans that the "right" uses a rhetoric of fear and terror, while urging us to consider his argument on terms that engender fear (this is, after all, a "dark time", characterized by "dark" forces that threaten democracy and all that is good in America, and so on). In other words, Giroux uses the language and rhetoric of the "right" in his "leftist" rant, and is thus not any more "academic" or "professional" in his tone than those he so adamantly condemns.Read more ›