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The UnCivil University (Politics & Propaganda in American Education) Paperback – November 9, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Gary Tobin identifies anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism as pernicious trends on college campuses and propose ways to combat it. -- Congressman Tom Lantos, Democrat, San Francisco, San Mateo

It is high time to insist that colleges promote a civil exchange of ideas—the very foundation of liberal education. -- Anne Neal, President, American Council of Trustees and Alumni

This timely book represents an important step in restoring a civil and enlightened university for Jews and gentiles alike. -- James Piereson, Executive Director, John M. Olin Foundation

About the Author

Gary A. Tobin, Ph.D., is president of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research. He was the director of the Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University for fourteen years, after spending eleven years on faculty at Washington University, St. Louis. He is the editor of two volumes about race in America, What Happened to the Urban Crisis? and Divided Neighborhoods. His books include Jewish Perceptions of Antisemitism; Rabbis Talk About Intermarriage; Opening The Gates: How Proactive Conversion Can Revitalize The Jewish Community; and In Every Tongue: The Racial & Ethnic Diversity of the Jewish People.

Aryeh K. Weinberg is a research associate at the Institute for Jewish & Community Research. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, in international relations, with an emphasis on international freshwater conflict and cooperation. Mr. Weinberg’s areas of research are anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, as well as philanthropy in America. His latest publications include an article entitled, "An Exceptional Nation: American Philanthropy Is Different Because America Is Different" and two forthcoming monographs from the series, Mega-Gifts in American Philanthropy.

Jenna Ferer is a research associate at the Institute for Jewish & Community Research. She conducts research on issues related to the growth, safety, and security of the Jewish community. Ms. Ferer formerly lived in Jerusalem, where she worked as a news, feature, and photojournalist for The Media Line, a nonprofit news agency that specializes in countering media bias against Israel. While in Israel, she produced an independent photographic study on schoolchildren in areas of violence. She has also been an editor and writer for the College Campus Initiative E-News and Information Brief for the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles.


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Product Details

  • Series: Politics & Propaganda in American Education
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Institute for Jewish & Community Research (November 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189367102X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893671027
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,971,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an extremely important book. It points to one of the most alarming trends that has been developing on American Campuses over the past decade or more. A good description of these processes has been given by Avi Beker in an oped piece in the newspaper 'Haaretz':
" The book presents a sad and disturbing picture of anti-Semitism disguised as an academic debate about the Middle East. Dr. Gary Tobin, one of the book's authors and president of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research, San Francisco, explained that the main problem today does not lie in open or blatant anti-Semitism, but rather in atmospheres and teaching styles.

"The academic debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is framed in the politics of racial discrimination, and this is why it has so much currency on campuses," says Tobin. "Jews are the white, colonialist oppressors and the Palestinians are the brown victims of colonization. So to be a white Jew in support of Israel you risk being branded as a racist. And that accusation is more insidious on a day-to-day basis than any mass rally."

The study presents reports of insults and humiliations suffered by Jewish students due to their support for Israel, and describes how Jewish faculty members that support Israel are being forced out. In a corresponding debate held in the U.S. Senate last week, there was discussion of the anti-Israeli atmosphere that prevails in centers for Middle Eastern studies in American universities, some of which are funded by Arab money."
In short the Israel bashing is accompanied by an effort at vitiating all debate on the Middle - East issue. The politically correct Arabists of the Middle East study's departments set the tone which undermines the first principle of university life, academic freedom.
Hopefully this book will serve as an important part in braking this dangerous non- democratic process.
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Format: Paperback
First and foremost, I consider myself a supporter of scholarship. I think the success of us humans as a species and the success our civilization depends on scholarship, and I consider systematic challenges to academic standards as threatening all this.

And there's a threat right now, as this book shows us in some detail. The symptoms we see, namely anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on campus are, as the authors are quick to point out, "of a much larger malaise."

We won't fix the problem by seeking "balance." Tobin and his co-authors wisely point out that "universities do not" (and should not) "balance racism and sexism with positive images of blacks and women. They make it clear that racism and sexism do not belong on campus. Period." And that is what they say needs to be done with anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. They're right.

Some folks say that we need to be careful not to infringe on academic freedom. But there's more to scholarship than freedom to say anything, no matter how absurd and counterproductive it may be. Universities need to "ensure both high quality and honest scholarship, adhere to principles of truth, preserve civil discourse, and provide freedom from intellectual intimidation."

In this book, we see some striking examples of uncivil behavior and campus misconduct. Perhaps the most obvious example is the infamous Columbia University Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures department. But there are plenty of others. And we see that the issue is not some sort of genuine or intellectual debate about a real nation, namely Israel. Instead, it is "a failure of the university community at all levels to properly protect its highest ideals." The result is a barrage of propaganda that has no place on any campus.
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Format: Paperback
I took heart from the news that the Politically Correct campuses were now backing the Islamists. Now, at last, I thought, the Jews, who were instrumental is ensconsing P. C. in America, would turn against it and expose it for the fraud that it is.

But no. P. C. is too useful to dispense with. The aim is, rather, to re-insert "Jews" (along with Blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals, and women) back into the list of groups whom it is suicide to speak against. Great.
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