Since this book has fewer than 150 pages, its critics really have no reason not to read it. Yet, you will read all kinds attacks on the author as a way of dismissing his arguments without consideration. It is a kind of smear tactic that is odious whenever it is used. I urge you to not let yourself be misinformed by such tactics. Instead, read this book for yourself. I found it to be excellent and informative, but you might disagree. That is absolutely the point.
We can assess the facts and honestly come to different conclusions. The author's point, and the whole reason behind the Academic Bill of Rights, is that there is a small minority, but still a significant portion (the author estimates something like 10%) of our university classrooms that are being used to advocate specific political agendas rather than teach the students to think, analyze, and increase their abilities to make their own informed judgments.
However, it is vital to understand that Horowitz is NOT indicting all professors. Nor is he saying that there should be a purge of professors who hold left wing views. In fact, Horowitz has defended his debating opponent, Ward Churchill. He has stated that Churchill should NOT be fired for his views. That is a vital part of academic freedom. Nor is he saying that people should be hired because they hold conservative views. None of this is part of his argument. What he is calling for is that there be NO consideration of a person's politics when hiring for a teaching job. He is calling for the classroom to be an academic environment where scholarship is presented, not advocacy. He is calling for the end to what amounts to tenured, taxpayer funded political parties on campus in the guise of various "studies" groups.
Not that these fields can't be taught in a rigorous and academic way, but that they are too often not taught at all, but focus on advocating one point of view. If a student happens to take that course and not share the "viewpoint" of the class, they are often pressured to drop the course or are punished with poor grades (whatever the quality of their work) if their work doesn't line up with the professor's point of view.
One of the interesting notions that has met with great resistance, why I cannot fathom, is that the professor should actually be an actual scholar in the field they are teaching. Should someone with a master's degree in communications be not only teaching in a field of anthropology, but be chair of the department? Should it take a national scandal to have someone find out that his scholarship is full of "borrowed" material or evidence that was simply fabricated? And the defense given is that he believed in his conclusions and was trying to provide support for them?
This book contains the text of some of the speeches Horowitz has given on behalf of true academic freedom (for professors and for students) in advocating this Academic Bill of Rights (which is presented in Appendix I). There are some chilling encounters with professors and university presidents that are more than disturbing. People who should be scholars who write their conclusions beforehand, who engage in personal smears instead of academic debate, who twist and make up statements their debating opponent never said.
Horowitz does clear up one thing, a thing his opponents won't accept because even if it hadn't existed they would have found something or other to use as a smear. It is the subtitle of Horowitz's "The Professors". That was the title of his manuscript. But his publisher felt that the academics opposed to the book wouldn't read it anyway and they wanted to broaden its appeal to the general audience (it ended up selling about 35,000 copies), so the gave it a subtitle over Horowitz's expressed concerns. The subtitle is the way most people know the book, "the 101 most dangerous academics in America". Horowitz gives his reasons for feeling uncomfortable with those words and the way his opponents have misused it in attacking him and his message.
If you are interested in the teaching environment a portion of our nation's university classrooms, for whatever reason, please get a copy of this book and read it. Unless you are already committed to a point of view, despite all evidence, I think you will view things somewhat differently afterwards, whether you are coming at the issues from the left or the right.