The Victims' Revolution

The Victims' Revolution

The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind

Book - 2012
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Respected author, critic, and essayist Bruce Bawer--whose previous book, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within, was a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist--now offers a trenchant and sweeping critique of the sorry state of higher education since the campus revolutions of the late '60s and early '70s. In The Victims' Revolution, Bawer incisively contends that the rise of identity-based college courses and disciplines (Women's Studies, Black Studies, Gay Studies, etc.) forty years ago has resulted in an impoverishment of thought and widespread political confusion, while filling the brains of students with politically correct mush. Timely, controversial, and brilliantly argued, Bawer's The Victims' Revolution is necessary reading for students, educators, and anyone concerned about the contemporary crisis in academia--a serious and important work that stands with other essential books on the subject, like The Shadow University by Alan Kors, Illiberal Education by Dinesh D'Souza, and Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2012.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780061807374
0061807370
Branch Call Number: 320.97308 Baw
Characteristics: xvi, 378 pages

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rpavlacic
Oct 19, 2014

In the 1987 book "The Closing of the American Mind" Allan Bloom wrote about how open relativism was, paradoxically, leading to university students who look at things from narrow constructs instead of openly challenging taught doctrine. In this book, author Bruce Bawer suggests Bloom's nightmare has come true.

His focus is on anything with which you can append the word "studies" - Women's Studies, Black Studies, Latino Studies, Gay Studies, etc. - and what you find is all take the approach of being the victim and never looking at the group's shortcomings over time, and that to look at the subject other than the sliver that is taught, often Marxist, is to be a traitor to that group. Particularly offensive is the notion held by many Woman's Studies professors that one cannot be a true feminist if she is not a lesbian.

More perplexing is that these groupings try to teach using the scientific method of natural and social sciences, when these fields properly belong in the humanities which is much more abstract and where right and wrong isn't always clear cut. What Bawer warns is that this narrow-mindedness in teaching is leaching into traditional areas of education, such as political sciences and sociology, and students who should be taught critical thinking skills are being taught precisely the opposite and in so doing the entire point of a university education is being undermined.

The examples cited in the book tend to be ones of the extreme in each of the discussed fields, but the point is made and one has to be asked if it is too late to change things simply by pushing back at these narrow-cast programs.

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