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One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America's Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy [Hardcover]

David Horowitz , Jacob Laksin

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Book Description

March 10 2009
“David Horowitz has single-handedly exposed the intellectual corruption that exists within the classrooms of American colleges. Like all forms of corruption, indoctrination flourishes when kept in the dark. Here, Horowitz turns on the bright lights to expose what has become profoundly wrong with our colleges and universities. We are all in his debt.”
–Ward Connerly, former regent, University of California

David Horowitz and coauthor Jacob Laksin take us inside twelve major universities where radical agendas have been institutionalized and scholarly standards abandoned. The schools they examine are not the easily avoided bottom of the barrel. Rather, they are an all-too-representative sampling of American higher education today.
Horowitz and Laksin have conducted the first comprehensive, in-depth, multiyear investigation of what is being taught in colleges and universities across the country–public to private, from large state schools to elite Ivy League institutions. They have systematically scrutinized course catalogs, reading lists, professors’ biographies, scholarly records, and the first-person testimonies of students, administrators, and faculty. Citing more than 150 specific courses, they reveal how academic standards have been violated and demonstrate beyond dispute that systematic indoctrination in radical politics is now an integral part of the liberal arts curriculum of America’s colleges. The extreme ideological cant that today’s students are being fed includes:

• Promoting Marxist approaches as keys to understanding human societies–with no mention of the bloody legacy of these doctrines and total collapse in the real world of the societies they created
• Instilling the idea that racism, brutally enforced by a “white male patriarchy” to oppress people of color and other marginalized groups, has been the organizing principle of American society throughout its history and into the present
• Requiring students to believe that gender is not a biological characteristic but a socially created aspect of human behavior designed by men to oppress women
• Persuading students that America and Israel are “imperialistic” and “racist” states and that the latter has no more right to exist than the South African regime in the days of apartheid

In page after shocking page, Horowitz and Laksin demonstrate that America’s colleges and universities are platforms for a virulent orthodoxy that threatens academic ideals and academic freedom. In place of scholarship and the dispassionate pursuit of truth that have long been the hallmarks of higher learning, the new militancy embraces activist zealotry and ideological fervor. In disturbingly large segments of today’s universities, students are no longer taught how to think but are told what to think.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum (March 10 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307452557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307452559
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.3 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #526,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“A professor’s job is not to tell students what to think; it is to help them to think carefully, critically, and for themselves. There is a legitimate place for the catechist, the preacher, the social activist, and the community organizer; but that place is not the university classroom. Professors who seek to indoctrinate their students violate a sacred trust. They should be forcefully challenged and publicly held to account. In One-Party Classroom, David Horowitz does just that. The book should provoke a discussion of the ethics of classroom instruction that is long overdue.”
—Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program
in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University

“Definitive proof that, whether they succeed or not, thousands of professors go to work every day with the intention of indoctrinating their students in their personal political prejudices.”
—Candace de Russy, former trustee, State University of New York

One-Party Classroom shows how far American universities have drifted from academic principles. The politicized courses described here are indeed among the worst cases. What is truly shocking is the unwillingness of university authorities to do anything about them.”
—Stephen H. Balch, founder and president, National Association of Scholars

“Reveals how political activists masquerading as academics dominate our liberal arts colleges. Regents and trustees need to become engaged in this important battle to restore academic rigor, standards, and accountability to our institutions of higher learning.”
—Tom Lucero, regent, University of Colorado

“There is not a university leader in this country who would not be better for confronting the well-reported case studies in David Horowitz’s book.”
—Frederick Mohs, former trustee, University of Wisconsin

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
81 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leaves the Far-Left Communists and Socialists with only Ad Hominem Attacks March 19 2009
By David M. Dougherty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a well researched and scholarly work that's a little too superficial. The authors composed this book mainly from on-line information provided by the universities themselves (see the end notes) followed up by personal interviews to check the accuracy and truthfulness of the universities' information. There is almost nothing left to attack except for Horowitz himself -- which I see two reviewers have already done and no doubt many will follow. The review centering on Miami of Ohio misses the mark totally since Horowitz is not contending the students are radicals -- some students are able to resist the university's clever assigning of the single summer reading program book to be a far-left polemic like "Ahmad's War, Ahmad's Peace", "Nickel and Dimed", "The Things They Carried" and "Dead Man Walking." But anyway, where's the counter-balance?

The authors concentrate on liberal arts programs such as Women's Studies, African-American Studies and Sociology with a number of other, ofter oddball, programs thrown in for good measure. The authors carefully point out that the universities studied also have highly-rated (by other leftist academicians) departments and programs although no proof of the excellence of these departments and programs is offered. With 95% of all professors claiming to be liberal, "progressive" or radical, one should look at anything coming out of the AAUP or like organizations with a great deal of suspicion. Nonetheless, the liberal arts programs are widely open to criticism, particularly in light of the grade inflation, lowering of standards and lack of rigor in the vast majority of liberal arts colleges as compared with their pre-1964 programs. The only colleges exhibiting less rigor, more grade inflation, and even a refusal to quantitatively judge student performance are the colleges of education that unfortunately train our children in public schools.

Universities today do one of two things: they warehouse young people until their early twenties or radicalize them as workers for the new Supra-National Socialist World Order. They learn political correctness, methods of agitation and intolerance, hatred for the United States, and left-wing myths in American history. Their employment is thus guaranteed in the public-private partnerships (PPPs) that are the favored vehicles to move the US into socialism, government, foundations or universities so they can keep the momentum up towards socialism. It is no accident that many of these programs are supported by far-left contributions such as those by foundations controlled by individuals like George Soros. The authors unfortunately only go part of the way to truly expose what is happening with their narrow focus on the radicalization in specific programs, egregious as it is.

The authors are so thorough in their specialty that I found the book rather boring in the sameness of the presentations across their examples, but of course that was by design. The evidence is overwhelming and the reader is properly overwhelmed. Even more depressing is the lack of action on the part of university administrators and the trustees or regents supposed controlling the schools. The reason for this lack of action is made clear -- the administrators come out of the same far-left milieu as the faculty, and the trustees and regents are normally political appointees expected to go along with the university's agenda. At this point there is simply no vehicle to change the situation presented by the authors except a grass-roots rebellion by the American citizenry and their refusal to fund schools and universities that have become more dangerous to the US than any organization of terrorists. Universities are now a closed society, self-regulated, and adverse to any outside criticism or influence. Rather sounds like the Federal Bureaucracy, doesn't it?

In spite of the excellence of this work I have three arguments with it. The first is that it focuses on the perversion of "academic freedom" concerning what an instructor can do in the classroom. However, academic freedon was/is a concept that allows a faculty member to pursue any subject of his choice for research and study in order to further mankind's knowledge about all things. The faculty member is expect to perform research in his academic area of training and expertise and further our knowledge in that area by publication and instruction. The basis for publication and instruction must be factual, and if controversial, the material must be counter-balanced either in his course itself or in course offerings presenting the opposing views. Maintenance of this definition of academic freedon is the responsibility of the university administration, deans and department heads. Through academic freedom even unpopular subjects can be studied and researched such as the failure of the majority of Roosevelt's New Deal programs to assist in ending the depression or the overwhelming penetration by Soviet agents in the Federal Government, most notably the State Department, during World War II (See the Venona Project results.)

Secondly, the authors do not attack the pernicious unintended consequence of tenure that makes it almost impossible to remove a faculty member for incompetence or using his classroom for political purposes. Tenure was originally structured to give the faculty member security while he pursued possibly unpopular lines of research, but today it simply allows a faculty to do whatever he wants, even shirk his academic duties for an activist's life. Make no mistake, once tenured a professor can normally get by with teaching three sections or courses per semester, do little else, and enjoy his summers and extended breaks in the academic year. A faculty member is normally required to be in his office for only six hours per week, and teaching three sections means only nine hours of classroom time. Do the math. Tenure has worked out to be counter-productive to academic excellence and must be modified although I doubt any modification can be imposed until the US democracy falls.

Thirdly, the author let the history departments and education colleges skate by with almost a free pass and totally ignored the leftist teaching in public schools. As many parents have discovered, high school (and lower) textbooks present leftist myths and actively teach against the US. Of course these polemical books in history and social studies usually follow the lead from leftist professors like Zinn or Foner since they are written by ex-students well-indoctrinated by the far-left at the university level. As early as 1950 books began to appear that turned history around -- I remember one in particular that I read as an 11-year old that presented Alexander The Great as a megalomaniac who set civilization back 1,000 years while extolling Karl Marx and his seminal contribution to social justice. The problem now is that most American adults have endured this indoctrination for so long that they have accepted the myths as facts and are unwilling to critically examine their own current beliefs. In a word, the majority of Americans coming through the public schools since World War II have been more or less brainwashed. And in college they simply enroll in a "Laboratory in Liberalism."

In short, the authors needed to go much further (in my opinion) in exposing the activities of our universities and instructors at all levels in turning Americans into socially engineered cogs in the New World Order. Perhaps that will be their next book, but this one leaves far too much unaddressed and unanswered to earn five stars.

All that being said, I recommend this book to all those concerned about the education of the next generations of Americans, assuming there will be any. Make no mistake about it, you are paying for these programs. Tuition pays an average of about one-fifth of the cost of a college education, and the rest made up by alumni, government grants (your money), endowments and whatever other resources the college can tap.
95 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, insightful and backed up by research March 13 2009
By Bruce Fancher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Horowitz presents a well-documented, irrefutable case that the academy has been taken over by the radical far-left. This should be a must read for politicians, policy-makers, administrators, faculty (the sane ones), students and their parents. Unfortunately, the Left is a religion, and those who subscribe to it's tenets (you know, the "open-minded") are impervious to persuasion, argument and debate. They know only that they and their beliefs are superior to all others, that if they and theirs had political power, they would be able to transform the world into a far better place than it is now, and that therefore anyone who opposes, or even questions them -- like Horowitz -- is an inhuman monster who must be smeared, defamed and destroyed. So when you read the one-star reviews of this book by the small-minded and intolerant, take them with a grain (better yet, a gallon) or salt.
72 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Perspective. March 10 2009
By David Denham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A quick read that will give anyone a good idea into what some professors and administrators are doing in America's universities. A senior education major myself, I found this book to explain a lot of the agenda's I have witnessed in the political and european classes that I have taken. A great read if you do not mind being shocked at how "undemocratic" some universities can be.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Our Higher Education System Is Failing America March 28 2009
By James R. Holland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a depressing book. Receiving bad news is never a pleasant experience, but sometimes reality bites a person in the rear end just to get their attention. That's the case with the current state of the United States College System. Like so many other Baby Boomer-aged employers I'm constantly amazed with the poor quality of today's typical Liberal Arts College Graduates. Too many of them can't read, but even more serious, few of them seem to show any ability to think. They aren't educated so much as indoctrinated. They believe too many "facts" that defy common sense. Many of today's graduates seem to smugly believe that their indoctrination is correct and it's their lying eyes or ears that are in error.
This book discusses how the American College system has been taken over by 1960's radicals. It doesn't say so in so many words, but the Vietnam War sent many war protestors into higher education in order to stay out of the military. Many of them are still there but they are now tenured faculty members.
The authors examine several colleges and university curriculums to illustrate how the classes have become politically correct and radical to the point that millions of students are being trained to revolt against all the existing American Institutions. The typical liberal arts degree has been diluted and corrupted to the point that the degree is almost worthless. Millions of Americans are mortgaging their homes and futures in order to send their children into the arms of radical revolutionary college professors with agendas that don't have teaching critical thinking anywhere on them. The authors point out how "Critical Thinking" is currently a code word for Marxism at most colleges and universities. That is the kind of critical thinking too many institutions of higher learning are teaching. A harmless sounding college course called "'Asian Americans in Film and Video' is in fact an attack on American society, which is presented as racist in its treatment of Asian-American. American racism is the common theme of virtually all the texts and films featured in the course."
In that same class, "Students are also required to read `The Joy F**k Club: Prolegomenon to an Asian American Porno Practice."
One University of CA course for "Feminist Methods of Teaching" is taught by Professor Bettina Aptheker. "Aptheker has described her teaching philosophy as a`revolutionary praxis,' a Marxist term of art for political organizing."
Parents looking to send their high school graduates to a good college might want to carefully read this book and avoid some of the institutions of higher learning that have been turned into factories for radicals and community and street mob organizers or as Lenin and Stalin called such people, "Useful Idiots." A good trade school might be a much better use of tuition money? At least the students are taught a useful trade instead of how to attack and destroy the American economic, political and judicial systems.
While reading this tome the truthfulness of it is obvious because the reader will suddenly be able to answer questions that have previously occurred to them, but not seemed worth investigating in detail. How is it that a college as well known and respected as Boston College invites an unrepentant terrorist from the Weathermen Underground to speak on its campus? In order to reach campus, William Ayers will have to drive through Brighton, MA where members of his Weathermen Underground Terrorist Organization murdered a policeman. Why does the college public broadcasting radio station have a staff many of whom use their disc jockey function to preach hate for the USA? Shocked at one such program, I stopped listening to that station in utter disgust. I sent a protest letter about that particularly offensive program I'd heard to the radio station director as well as the president of the college neither of whom bothered to reply.
As one reads the pages of this expose of American Higher Education, or as in my case, reads in on their Kindle, the truth of it rings loud and clear. One more word of warning, this book will probably depress the reader, but it will also open their eyes and provide answers to many puzzles that may have occurred to them, but were simply dismissed as aberrations. They weren't aberrations; they were examples of how so many of our college campuses have been totally radicalized with unrepentant enemies of the American Way of Life. Reader Beware! Prepare to have your eyes and mind opened. And you might want to investigate potential colleges with your newly opened eyes checking on the politics and political agenda of the institution.
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be sure you are clear about what Horowitz is saying. Read the book! April 2 2009
By Craig Matteson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I wish people could actually hear the message that Horowitz is trying to convey in this book rather than jumping to a wrong conclusion. People seem to think that Horowitz is saying that only conservative and/or pro-American ideas should be taught at our colleges and universities. This is exactly the opposite of what he is advocating. His point is that classrooms should not used as tools for political advocacy, activism, and indoctrination. They were built for the purpose of education and that is about presenting evidence, approaches to thinking about that evidence, tools for clear thinking, and allowing individuals their freedom of conscience. Subverting that purpose by dragging students into political advocacy and indoctrination is wrong no matter which side is doing it. However, the modern university is so clearly dominated by the left-wing that the examples Horowitz provides are from the lefty side of things.

When you look at any programs that have the word "studies" in their title, you can be very confident that you have arrived in a very left-wing environment. That they would say they are mainstream or middle-of-the-road just confirms how far left their basic views are. So, as you read this book, and you should, remember that Horowitz is NOT advocating the termination of the academic study of women, minority, or any other studies program. What he wants stopped is the use of these programs for miseducation and as a platform and cudgel for the political activism of the teacher.

Horowitz takes you on a tour of the sad state of affairs at 12 major universities: Duke (remember the Lacrosse team?), University of Colorado (Ward Churchill, anyone?), Columbia, Penn State, University of Texas (at Austin), University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Temple University, Miami University (in Ohio), University of Missouri, University of Southern California, and University of California, Santa Cruz. No, Horowitz is not saying that these are the only universities allowing and protecting these intellectual abuses, but he does provide interesting examples from each of them. He also presents samples of courses taught that illustrate the kinds of abuses he is writing against.

The kinds of abuses vary from place to place, but when you see people teaching courses for which they have no academic credentials, when they only allow students already sympathetic to their political views in the class or to pass it, when you require the students to participate in outside advocacy in sympathy with the teacher's politics, when you present material from only one side of the issue, when you openly and clearly violate the written academic standards of the university, when you base the course on a controversial idea as if it were an accepted verity, and when you tell the students what to think rather than provide them the tools to help them to think and weigh the evidence dispassionately and according to their own conscience, well, you have tax payer subsidized political activism instead of an academic course. These courses are not only awful because of the miseducation the students receive in the classroom, but because of the college credit the students get for these courses. This means they aren't getting a real education by obtaining credits in a truly academic course.

You should read this book and decide for yourself. I find it frightening and exasperating. But I have seen this evolving for decades. Horowitz is one of those resisting the groupthink and I hope you will help join the struggle to return our colleges and universities to true forums for all points of view and academic study and leave the politics to their proper sphere outside the classroom. I recommend this book and the author's earlier: The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America and Indoctrination U.: The Left's War Against Academic Freedom

Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI

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