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The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford (Independent Studies in Political Economy) 1St Edition Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0945999423
ISBN-10: 0945999429
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Reveals the intellectual corruption that captured one of our nation’s premier universities."  —Edwin W. Meese, III, former United States Attorney General


"By detailing the corruption of our academic ideals, [the authors] have hastened the much-needed and long-awaited restoration of higher education."  —Christopher Cox, United States Congressman


"A devastating indictment of how a great university came close to being destroyed."  —Philip Merrill, president and publisher, Washingtonian


"Two recent Stanford graduates document the situation there with a thoroughness that should help stiffen the spine of university administrators."  —René Girard, professor of comparative literature, Stanford University


"There’s hardly a better source than this book for learning why multiculturalism on campus cannot work."  —Linda Chavez, former director, US Commission on Civil Rights


"A great read, and an important and instructive story... will not just cause alarm about our educational institutions, it will inspire renewal."  —William Kristol, editor and publisher, The Weekly Standard


"The Diversity Myth shows how McCarthyism on the left is as dangerous as it is on the right. Read and weep for what is happening at our colleges."  —Richard D. Lamm, former governor of Colorado


"With fascinating and often disheartening detail, The Diversity Myth is the most thorough and detailed account yet available of what "multiculturalism" has meant at a major American university."  —Nathan Glazer, professor of education and sociology, Harvard University

About the Author

David O. Sacks is vice president of product strategy at PayPal, Inc. He has worked as a legislative aide to U.S. Representative Christopher Cox and received his A.B. in economics from Stanford University. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Policy Review, and Academic Questions. Peter A. Thiel is chairman and CEO at PayPal, Inc. He has worked as a derivatives trader at Credit Suisse Financial Products, a securities lawyer for Sullivan & Cromwell, and a speechwriter for former education secretary William J. Bennett. He received his A.B. in philosophy and J.D. from Stanford University. They both live in Palo Alto, California.
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Product Details

  • Series: Independent Studies in Political Economy
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The Independent Institute; 1St Edition edition (July 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0945999429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945999423
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard B. Schwartz TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 18, 2011
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This is an interesting and informative book on an important subject. It concerns multiculturalism and political intolerance at Stanford in the 1980's. The authors (both now lawyers/businessmen/non-academics) were Stanford undergraduates. Thiel took his J.D. at Stanford; Sacks took his at the University of Chicago. If nothing else, the book demonstrates the quality of the Stanford experience and/or the ability of the admissions office to select students of quality because the book is well-researched, well-argued and well-written.

It is a partisan book in the sense that it adduces evidence to support a particular point of view, one wholly inimical to the multiculture (as they term it). It is not, however, a flailing, mindless screed. It points to a multiplicity of events, interactions and facts. It names names and it provides a great many of the specifics germane to the case(s). Its arguments and narratives cannot simply be dismissed as reactionary or studiedly partial. If the authors have misused evidence or conveniently forgotten counter examples they should be challenged on the facts, not criticized, e.g., because of their later business success or their extensive use of campus journalistic records. Their frame of reference is far broader than that. To say that they were too involved in the issues and those issues' initial reportage is also to acknowledge that they were involved, personally and directly. Reporters are among our society's most notable writers of `instant history'. The degree to which that instant history will stand the test of time will ultimately be decided on the actual facts of the case(s).

There is a great deal of analysis in addition to the reportage. They examine, e.g., the contradictions of the multiculture.
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“The Diversity Myth” is a twenty-year-old book that nobody would remember, despite its many virtues, were it not for that its authors (and many of the young figures in its pages) have since then become highly-visible billionaires, and, in the case of Peter Thiel, prominent public intellectuals. None of them knew that then, though (presumably!), which makes the book even more interesting.

And everything old is new again. This book has, since I started writing this review, taken on new relevancy, with the puerile and ignorant, yet vicious, happenings at the University of Missouri, Dartmouth, Yale, Oberlin and other colleges last fall (2015). But let’s take the book as it is.

It’s possible, and instructive, to draw a line from William F. Buckley’s “God And Man At Yale,” published in 1951, through this book (published in 1999) to today. A descending line, showing the cratering of the American academy. The declined Yale of the late 1940s and early 1950s criticized by Buckley was a paragon of excellence compared to Stanford in the 1990s, much less compared to universities today.

As with any book that deals with political conflicts of the past, it is easy to see where the authors were right and where the authors were wrong. Unfortunately, they were right about the problem and wrong that it was on the way to being fixed. In fact, the problem of enforced leftist ideological conformity escaped the confines of Stanford and similar universities long ago, mutating and growing along the way, until now it not only suffocates all university discourse, but infects the entire nation’s discourse.
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Finally, a book that accurately reveals the tyrannical dictatorship of the multicultural ideologues on American campuses. As a college philosophy instructor, the predicament portrayed by the authors of this excellent book strikes home all too accurately for me. This volume should be required reading on every campus that has a "Multicultural Day," as does mine. If anything, the authors understate the case against the academic despotism of race, class, gender and sexual orientation preferences. Clearly, those "tenured radicals" who protest too much only prove the point further. Buy several copies of this book: keep one, donate one to your college and local library, and give one to a friend. Congratulations to Sacks and Thiel for having the courage to swim against the ideologically polluted academic current of today's campuses.
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As my header states, I'm a white male born and educated in the upper-middle class. Also, like Thiel, I am a libertarian, although politically I'm a little more to the left than he is. I gave the book five stars because I agree with the central premise; however, I understand why people of certain backgrounds and beliefs describe the book as "yellow journalism" because I do agree that it does sensationalize to some extent. If what I've written so far has inflamed you and you believe I'm a bigot then you should continue reading because you are who I want to read this.

First of all, I know that in a way I'm lucky to have been born into a family that has both resources and values education and hard work. I agree that skin color, gender, and wealth create an uneven playing field. I would argue that of those three, wealth has the greatest effect and gender has the least effect. The reason I like this book is because it points out the negative long term effects of the politically correct (PC) culture that exists in the US. What do I mean by this? In a nutshell I mean that the efforts by the PC crowd have a long term effect of reducing diversity. I believe this is the central pillar of the book and I will explain more in the next paragraph.

As a scientist, the type of diversity that matters to me is diversity of opinion. When everyone thinks the same, people do not innovate and society does not move forward. As much as I believe in my understanding of the issue, if you have a different opinion and can back it up with intelligent discourse, that is the diversity I value and that is a positive for society. PC culture destroys this difference of opinion. People who do not have the same views as PC activists and the liberal media are labeled as "bigots".
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