This is a quirky, sharply perceptive explanation of the nature and history of big academia s left lunatic shift to a left intellectual, dictatorial, indoctrinatory fantasy world after 1967 Gelernter relies mostly the experiences of American Jewry to illustrate the various processes propelling this shift, though parallels to other groups are obvious and often cited as well Gelernter is pessimistic about the chances to restore any balance and restraint to the elite universities, but he has thought this problem through on a broad strategic scale He is very optimistic about the opportunities the internet and burgeoning homeschooling resources provide to involve less wealthy, less prestigious colleges and universities in new, creative partnerships with quality online degree granting institutions able to provide students with serious, broad and or specialized educations at lower cost.And by so doing, clarify the nature of our elite institutions island playgrounds of the privileged, self congratulating children of the 60s as what they are expensive finishing schools where, inevitably, the children of the privileged acquire the very proper progressive, secularist, trans national attitudes and etiquette at the expense of solid depth of learning finishing schools, then, providing the certain to be employed privileged with a completely conformed, bankable prestige so important in the circles dominated by alumni of those same once hallowed, now hollow, halls. Since the current speculation is that this guy could be the official science adviser for the Trump administration, I thought it would be worth getting to know him This book reads like your cringe inducing uncle s entertaining but ugly jeremiad about how all the problems in America can be traced back to the cultural revolution of the 1960s The first half of that decade is described as our Periclean years, when it was still okay to be a red blooded American After the cultural revolution, the left libs took over The people in senior positions of power now are the first to have been educated indoctrinated by lefties They may be smart and well intentioned, but they are ignorant Also, they are feminine, because Deep down, to be liberal is female girls want to be loved cf his To be conservative is male boys want to be respected and Liberal intellectuals tend to be insecure, to blame themselves, to curry favor Like small girls, they are eager to feel loved, and worry lest they should not deserve it They are eager to apologize and be forgiven Here are a few of the talking points According to Gelernter, American tax policy should not promote wealth redistribution, because wealth distribution policies kill economies Gathering scientific doubts about global warming and climate change are being filtered out by the ecofundamentalists politicians like Obama don t know how to think for themselves, would be lost without their teleprompters Women are okay, morally the equals of men, but feminism is bad feminists are the deadliest enemies and famous for their take no prisoners fury Without coming out explicitly against gay marriage, Gelernter carefully implies that our society s ignorant embrace of its legalization is likely just one stop on a left wending path towards legalization of pederasty and other untold horrors The concept of reparations to blacks would be funny if it weren t so expensive Cutting under God from the Pledge of Allegiance and or In God we trust from the dollar are high on the liberal agenda There is bigotry in STEM against young men and by the way, men are naturally better scientists than women Our society is unfairly biased in favor of blacks when they come into conflict with whites, and of women when they come into conflict with men and PORGI Post religious global intellectual airheads like Obama don t know or care about history Oh, and terrorists are bad while Christians and Jews are good To wrap up the book on a constructive note, Gelernter suggests that since PORGI airheads control the educational system, the answer is the internet Instead of going to college for indoctrination, folks should seek out an online la carte conservative education and occasionally meet up with like minded fellow learners in person.The book was written after the 2008 election and evidently intentioned chiefly to smear Obama in the run up to the 2012 election Gelernte didn t get the result he wanted then, but now Well, we have Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education and there is little doubt that one of the major factors propelling Trump into the White House was a sinister brand of la carte online education known colloquially as the Alt Right, an educational movement fueled by many of the same specious grievances as Gelernter articulates in America Lite I read this book as a window into the thinking of the other America, the one not reflected in the NYT and the university culture I inhabit The one positive thing I can say about America Lite is that the kind of thinking it reflects should act as an incentive to liberals to think carefully both about why we hold the values we do i.e., we should be able to give reasons compelling than just that they re obvious and how we communicate those values in a public arena where racist, misogynistic, selfish, and destructive voices like Gelernter s are finding a receptive audience. The problems with the American higher education are a legion You can hardly open a newspaper today without coming across an article decrying many ills that overly expensive education has saddled the students with As the price tag of a college diploma seems to be getting ever out of control, the value of what students get diminishes every year The over priced and under valued American higher education is just a symptom of a larger problem with the academie The problem is the subversion of the meritocratic mindset that flourished, however briefly, for a little while during the opening of the American colleges and universities in the middle of the twentieth century One of this book s greatest strengths is that it takes a long view of the American higher education, much longer than most such books on this subject It goes all the way to the founding principles of many such institutions a few centuries ago, especially the private ones American colleges and universities have always been a form of exclusive social clubs, and the emphasis on the value of the actual education that one gets from them has ebbed and flowed over time The meritocratic renaissance was the result of few momentous social and cultural developments around the middle of the twentieth century the G.I bill, the massive scale entering of the women into the workforce, the increasingly service oriented economy, the introduction of the standardized tests, to name just a few However, this change of the value and perception of the higher education quickly became a self serving exercise in the control of the cultural influences, and the new generation of very leftward professors took it upon themselves to go beyond empowering students with knowledge and education, and turned the universities into the boot camps of left wing radicalism and activism Even though only a small fraction of students accepted the full scope of this indoctrination, the impact that it had on the culture and society as a whole was profound and long lasting This was the birth of the imperial overreach of the institutions of the higher learning The tone of this book is very polemical, and it will not win over many converts I am afraid However, to those of us who are already in the choir it provides much needed intellectual articulation of certain ideas that we ve come to take for granted The author is also at moments quite consciously literally in his allusions and turns of phrase This is a welcome change from most of the rather drab writing that characterizes modern current events writing, but it can also come across as a bit pretentious Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in getting a better grip on the scope of current crisis in the higher education. A distracting number of metaphors Written for the crowd that will say, I know, right Uncautious in its treatment of race and sex, so a noncharitable reader might see it as bigoted Includes weird asides Cary Grant was great, Clark Gable was terrible, Mary McCarthy was hot when she was at Vassar Important point poorly executed. Good bits rescue the ones he seemed to phone in.Parts read like standard right wing I m right wing myself list of frustrations Did you see that reporter say that Did you hear this outrageous claim made by that leftist politician that sort of thing Entertaining for me, but not as illuminating as just regular choir preaching.But the initial premise goes deeper than the standard conservative complaint about elites and education, much discursive Inclined to the aggressive argumentative style he attributes to certain cultural groups in the book for those who find those sections alarming in their blunt language, note the last name of the author and look up his bio and you ll feel better it s insider baseball.As with all culture warning books, the hard part to write is the what do we do about it section Gelernter s ideas are of interest, but not much fleshed out His discussion about internet learning could use some research he would do well to spend a bunch of time with the home school community, which is actually using alternative education, often in order to avoid the problems he describes In my own experience with home schooling, I can say that the internet is not a magic pill In fact, distance learning has been used by indoctrinating elites pretty well, and public schools have used the lure of internet learning programs they give you a free computer to lure home schooling families back into the fold A quick look at Khan Academy, the quintessential independent learning internet system, is informative Khan began by making math videos for his extended family, and the videos became very popular and used by millions But once Khan had made his name deservedly this way, he set up a system that drove right past those independent learners and prioritized partnerships with the public school system Subject matter has expanded, and once math was left behind the content became predictably left leaning pretty much fits the exact description of the education Gelernter describes.Definitely four stars for cogent ideas well articulated, but will be looking for follow up as his thoughts develop in coming years. The version of this book that I bought was entitled America Lite How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture and Ushered in the Obamacrats Gelernter seems to have jumped on the social cultural change bandwagon along with the likes of David Brooks The Social Animal and Charles Murray Coming Apart , etc Although I agree that liberal academia is seriously biased and a problem, I m not completely convinced by Gelernter s argument that it s all their fault, and getting rid of them with some kind of internet education end run is the solution Nevertheless, this is a well researched and eye opening history of how we got to where we are. A jeremiad against progressive airhead ism, the Obamacrat cultural mood begotten of America s cultural revolution not even properly ideological, but presuppositionally progressive, because its tenets have not been critically assessed and accepted, but rather breathed as the oxygen of intellectualism.What is education Why is it important, and to what end The pipeline of American education cannot be detoxified without bringing these questions out of the shadows and back up to the forefront of all of our debates. The actual title of this book is America Lite How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture and Ushered in the Obamacrats I highly recommend this book All during the recent presidential election, I longed to ask an Obama supporter, What exactly is it about Obama that draws your support Reading this, I have a better understanding The author explains how the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s impacted our country, moving out the WASPS and moving in the PORGIs post religious globalist intellectuals The leaders in business, politics, and intellectual areas were now left leaning, rather than conservative Their influence and authority impacted the universities, filtering down to the lower levels of education, thereby creating another generation of liberals, PORGI Airheads These people have theories about the world that they hold to, even in the face of evidence to the contrary America is bad We just need to sit down and talk to the terrorists The author shows how these theories have led to decisions that affect all of us The book ends on a note of hope, with a surprising suggestion of how to turn things around so that people are thinking clearly and not just operating on second hand information from unreliable sources Very thought provoking America Lite Where We All Live Is Just Like America, Only Turned Into An Amusement Park Or A Video Game Or A Supersized Pinkberry, Where The Past And Future Are Blank And There Is Only A Big NOW How Did We Come To Expect No Virtue And So Much Cynicism From Our Culture, Our Leaders And Each Other In This Refreshingly Judgmental Book, David Gelernter Connects The Historical Dots To Reveal A Stealth Revolution Carried Out By Post Religious Globalist Intellectuals Who, By And Large, Can T Run Their Own Universities Or Scholarly Fields, But Are Very Sure They Can Run You These Imperial Academics Have Deployed Their Students Into The Top Echelon Of Professions Once Monopolized By Staid And Steady WASPs In This Simple Way, They Have Installed Themselves As The New Designated Drivers Of American CultureImperial Academics Live In A World Of Theory They Preach Disdain For Mere Facts And For Old Fashioned Fact Based Judgments Like True Or False Schoolchildren Are Routinely Taught Theories About History Instead Of Actual History They Learn, For Example, That All Nations Are Equally Nice Except For America, Which Is Nearly Always NastyWith Academic Experts To Do Our Thinking For Us, We Ve Politely Shut Up And Let Second Raters Take The Wheel In Fact, We Have Handed The Keys To The Star Pupil And Teacher S Pet Of The Post Religious Globalist Intellectuals, Whose Election To The Presidency Of The United States Constituted The Ultimate Global Group HugHow Do We Finally Face The Truth And Get Back Into The Driver S Seat America Lite Ends With A One Point Plan
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the America-Lite book, this is one of the most wanted David Gelernter author readers around the world.
- 200 pages
- David Gelernter
- 08 September 2018 David Gelernter