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The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind Hardcover – September 4, 2012
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“Bawer is passionate in his criticism of the current state of academia and its effects on broader American culture.” (Booklist)
“The developments described by Mr. Bawer will not surprise readers familiar with the campus wars that broke out in the 1980s, when entire departments devoted to these fields began to be established. Where the author’s text shines is in explaining their root causes.” (Wall Street Journal)
“The book is terrific, exposing the academic criminality that those programs encourage — i.e., teaching naïve and impressionable students things that either are utterly false or are merely wild-eyed opinions as truth....I strongly recommend the book.” (National Review)
“This is a vital, sparkling, and truth-telling book.” (Jay Nordlinger, National Review)
“This book is an adventure in American religious thought, exciting and intelligent.” (Booklist)
From the Back Cover
An eye-opening critique of the identity-based revolution that has transformed American campuses and its effect on politics and society today.
The 1960s and ’70s were a time of dramatic upheaval in American universities as a new generation of scholar-activists rejected traditional humanism in favor of a radical ideology that denied esthetic merit and objective truth. In The Victims’ Revolution, critic and scholar Bruce Bawer provides the first true history of this radical movement and a sweeping assessment of its intellectual and cultural fruits.
Once, Bawer argues, the purpose of higher education had been to introduce students to the legacy of Western civilization—“the best that has been thought and said.” The new generation of radical educators sought instead to unmask the West as the perpetrator of global injustice. Age-old values of goodness, truth, and beauty were disparaged as mere weapons in an ongoing struggle of the powerful against the powerless. Shifting the focus of the humanities to the purported victims of Western colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism, the new politicized approach to the humanities gave rise to a series of identity-based programs, including Women’s Studies, Black Studies, Queer Studies, and Chicano Studies. As a result, the serious and objective study of human civilization and culture was replaced by “theoretical” approaches emphasizing group identity, victimhood, and lockstep “progressive” politics.
What have the advocates of this new anti-Western ideology accomplished?
Twenty-five years ago, Allan Bloom warned against the corruption of the humanities in The Closing of the American Mind. Bawer’s book presents compelling evidence that Bloom and other conservative critics were right to be alarmed. The Victims’ Revolution describes how the new identity-based disciplines came into being, examines their major proponents and texts, and trenchantly critiques their underlying premises. Bawer concludes that the influence of these programs has impoverished our thought, confused our politics, and filled the minds of their impressionable students with politically correct mush. Bawer’s book is must-reading for all those concerned not only about the declining quality of American higher education, but also about the fate of our society at large.
Top Customer Reviews
The way Bruce Bawer sees it the most disastrous by-product of the civil rights movement was multiculturalism. He quotes the noted liberal historian and social critic Arthur Schlesinger Jr. who believed that multiculturalism was "a philosophy that teaches that America is not a nation of individuals at all but a nation of groups." Thus, it was the rise of multiculturalism that would give birth not only to Black Studies but also to a number of other identity studies programs such as Women's Studies, Queer Studies, Chicano Studies and Cultural Studies.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've long been a fan of Mr. Bawer, a true liberal in the classical sense. His two books on Islam and the appeasement both in Europe and here should be required reading in our... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Roy A. Crocker
A well constructed work. It very accurately discusses the state of the humanities. As a student, I can see a lot of my professors and classmates in this work.Published 14 months ago by donnie
Bawer makes bold and pertinent points about the rise of identity studies and the intellectual laziness that is often found within those departments. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Melise
Great book. Sad but great. Ethnic studies is simply anti-white hatred made legit for the academy. Cultural marxism has taken over our universities and this is simply part of the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Henry Ford
Bawer has a gift for concisely capturing the prevailing habits of thought and reductive assumptions that run through the various "Identity Studies," while illustrating them clearly... Read morePublished on October 14, 2014 by Candid Reviewer
excellent book addressing this vital, oft ignored, trend in american and western thought and education. Read morePublished on September 24, 2014 by Joshua of NYC
I also read Bawer's book, "While Europe Slept" which is about the advance of Islam in Europe and the attempt to silence critics of Islam. Read morePublished on September 12, 2014 by David Eaton
This book would make a passable Letter to the Editor (no more than 150 words, please) . As a book it is far too long for any conceivable purpose. Like reading it. Read morePublished on September 2, 2014 by Interested customer