THE DISSENTING ACADEMY by Theodore-Ed. Roszak

THE DISSENTING ACADEMY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Earlier this year an essay by Chomsky of MIT on ""The Responsibility of the Intellectuals"" deplored American scholars' tendency to cop out of the public scene, or pitch in with unprincipled government service. The excellence of the essay (reprinted here) was surpassed only by its obviousness; the stir it made testifies to the current state of affairs. Ten academics from the humanities and social sciences join here in pointing out the moral nakedness of our imperial universities. For them Vietnam is the occasion, not the cause, of dissent, and their topics range from Keynes to student vocabularies. The writing is sharp and spirited; they are talking out, now down; only Wilkinson's essay on dialogue seems a little baroque for general readers. Kampf, Rosen and Gough focus on the perversions of research and teaching in, respectively, literature, economics and anthropology, and Zahn attacks the timidity of Catholic educators. Bay pinpoints the evasions of academic work on politics and power, while Engler examines the universities' vested interest in absurd growings-up and demonology as a substitute for thought. Windmiller suggests why many Asian experts support Johnson; Lynd reviews his own intellectual history as an historian; the editor shows how the dominant traditions of the American academy have resulted in sterile professionalism and public irrelevance. An absolute must, and hopefully a trend-setter.

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 1967
Publisher: Pantheon