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How to Cyberbully Your Teacher (A Non-Fiction Narrative) Paperback – May 31, 2016
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As Curzon learned to his dismay, the laws against libel simply did not apply to online communication, leaving anyone free to claim, for example, that Professor A forced them to perform sexual favors or Professor B failed them because of their race. The author pulls no punches in expressing alarm at the law’s injustice, and contempt for his attackers’ sense of entitlement. In the current politically correct academic environment, students expect good grades on the basis of racial/sexual/socioeconomic identity, no matter how ignorant, illiterate, or downright lazy their actual class performance.
Even so, this novel is much more than score settling. Curzon’s fictional alter ego, Nathaniel Tack, is a deliciously flawed, multidimensional character whose unhealthy obsession with the website steadily erodes his precarious personal life. He’s caustic, vain, sometimes glib or petty, and given to monumental bouts of paranoia and self-pity. Nevertheless, his commitment to teaching, expertise in his subject, and essential fairness are never in doubt—and shouldn’t that be the issue?
The writing is witty, often hilarious, and unsparing as Curzon dissects the motives of Nathaniel and his colleagues and students on all sides of the issue. This is an utterly entertaining and ultimately alarming portrait of U.S. academic life at the dawn of the 21st century, where narcissistic rage and self-serving cowardice have made truth, justice, and the American way obsolete—a microcosm of our decaying republic.