THE VICTIMS' REVOLUTION by Bruce Bawer

THE VICTIMS' REVOLUTION

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

KIRKUS REVIEW

Bawer (The New Quislings: How the International Left Used the Oslo Massacre to Silence Debate About Islam, 2012, etc.) attacks the alleged takeover of American universities by identity studies faculty who turn students into close-minded, America-bashing semi-intellectuals.

The author devotes the bulk of his polemic to what he sees as the undesirable academic disciplines of women's studies, black studies, Chicano studies and queer studies. (Bawer is openly gay but asserts that he is not a mainstream gay man intellectually.) He believes the corruption of entire university campuses derived from liberal/radical movements of the 1960s. The college students who grew up during that era frequently became professors, individuals guided by a belief that oppressed groups should be studied as movements, with little emphasis on individual rights. In Bawer's version of American higher education, anti-capitalist, anti-American authors such as Edward Said, Frantz Fanon, Paulo Freire and Antonio Gramsci dominate campus curricula, driving out more moderate scholars who celebrate the current strengths and future possibilities of the United States. Bawer offers copious anecdotes as representative of across-the-board reality on thousands of American college campuses. These anecdotes are purported to prove his already formed hypothesis, rather than allowing a hypothesis to grow organically from hard evidence. Toward the end of the book, Bawer throws in attacks on additional identity study realms, including disability studies, fat studies, men's studies and whiteness studies. He calls on parents of potential college students to examine curricula carefully and avoid campuses—even the Harvards and the Yales—that he believes have been hopelessly compromised.

Bawer is a powerful user of language relying on weak evidence and preconceived notions to create a questionable reality. 

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-180737-4
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Broadside Books/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2012




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