Academia’s Hate-America Presses


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The extreme left-wing bias of American academia is well documented. Thus, it is not at all surprising that our nation’s university presses – nonprofit publishing houses that are ideological extensions of their parent institutions – invariably serve as platforms for the dissemination of far-left dogma. Each year, they produce hundreds of tracts extolling the virtues of pacifism, radical environmentalism, open borders, and socialism, while delivering an endless stream of literary assaults on capitalism, American culture, and Western civilization generally. Because these books carry the implied intellectual legitimacy of the colleges and universities with which their publishers are associated, their influence on policymakers, opinion leaders, and even the general public can be considerable – even though the sales of such books are, by industry standards, typically meager.

Whereas commercial publishers focus on producing books that will have broad popular appeal and generate profits, university presses deal mainly, though not exclusively, in scholarly works (monographs) that are geared toward a small audience of specialists in certain concentrated fields of research. A large percentage of these books are sold in hardcover editions to libraries. The American Association of University Presses (AAUP), under whose umbrella these academic publishing houses are counted, currently includes 125 members, of which 95 are affiliated with public and private research universities in 40 separate U.S. States and Canada. The remaining 30 are situated variously in Belgium, China, Egypt, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, and the Netherlands.

In 2005, the most recent year for which a complete set of statistics is available, AAUP members collectively published 10,159 new book titles, an average of 81 titles per publisher. That same year, AAUP members reported $267 million in total book sales, an average of $2.1 million per publisher and $26,370 per title. At an average per-copy sale price of $41, the typical university-press title sells approximately 643 copies. All told, book and journal sales account for about 85 percent of AAUP member revenues. Another 10 percent comes from the publishers’ respective parent institutions (which, in the case of public universities, means taxpayers), and the remaining 5 percent derives from government and foundation grants.

A survey of the books that university presses across the U.S. are currently featuring in their catalogs and on their websites, reveals a host of titles promoting doctrinaire leftism in a variety of disciplines:

Environmentalism

A particularly hot topic for university presses nowadays is global warming. In Worst Case Scenarios, published by Harvard University Press, author Cass SunsteinPresident Obama‘s regulatory “czar” –  discusses how Americans ought to prepare for the looming disaster called “climate change.” Another newly released Harvard production is an update of Spencer Weart’s The Discovery of Global Warming, “revised throughout to reflect the latest science and with a new conclusion that shows how the scientific consensus caught fire among the general world public.” That description, in light of the devastating “Climategate” revelations about the global-warming crowd’s deliberate falsification and concealment of inconvenient evidence, is nothing short of delusional.

Approaching environmentalism from a different angle is Images of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a University of Alaska Press book that presents an “emotionally evocative and beautifully fierce” collection of “lyrical essays and stunning panoramic photographs” paying “homage to a vast and remote land that remains untamed by technology and undisturbed by human development.” The book’s purpose is to argue against U.S. oil drilling in Alaska’s ANWR region by tugging on readers’ heartstrings rather than by engaging their brains.

Baylor University Press, meanwhile, has blended environmentalism with religion in The Bible and Ecology:
Rediscovering the Community of Creation. Here, author Richard Bauckham takes issue with the biblical “mandate of human dominion given in Genesis 1,” which, he writes, “has too often been used as a justification for domination and exploitation of the earth’s resources.” Taking up a similar theme is Baylor Press’s Greening Paul:
Rereading the Apostle in a Time of Ecological Crisis. This book aims “to read the Pauline literature from an ecological perspective,” challenging the Bible’s “anthropocentric worldview that gives humanity license to exploit the earth for our benefit.”

Islam

While university presses may be distressed by the dangers of climate change, they are apparently unconcerned about any threat from radical Islam. Indeed, the University of Chicago Press has published The Fear of Barbarians: Beyond the Clash of Civilizations, wherein author Tzvetan Todorov “argues that the West must overcome its fear of Islam if it is to avoid betraying the values it claims to protect.”

Meanwhile, the Canada-based University of Alberta Press has published The Contemporary Arab Reader on Political Islam, billing it as “the perfect starting point for students and academics looking to understand ‘Political Islam’ in contemporary Arab and Muslim societies.” The book’s editor, Ibrahim Abu-Rabi’, is an anti-Semitic demagogue who says that “the Nazi Holocaust has been “exploited fully” by “the Israeli Zionist state since 1948”; that Jews seek to frighten the Palestinians with the implied threat of a “mini holocaust” which may be carried out against the latter; that “militarism” has “defined the nature of the Israli state from 1948 until the present time”; and that “Israel has exploited Judaism in a very negative and violent way” in order to advance its own “project of hegemony and project of dispossession of the Palestinian people.” Abu-Rabi’s book features the work of such luminaries as: (a) Abdullah Azzam, the late Muslim scholar who was an influential figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, a leader of Hamas, and a mentor to both Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri; (b) Sayyid Muhammad Hussain Fadlallah, a Shiite spiritual leader of Hezbollah; and (c) Ahmad Bin Yousuf, a political advisor to Akram Haniyya, who served as an advisor to the late terrorist Yasser Arafat.

Immigration

Regarding issues on the home front, immigration occupies the thoughts of many in the scholarly community. The University of Arizona Press, for example, has recently published several books on the topic. One of these, Dead in Their Tracks, focuses on what it terms “America’s killing field” – that portion of the Arizona desert where many Mexicans, in the process of trying to sneak across the U.S. border in pursuit of “a better life,” have died of heat and sun exposure, making the region “the deadliest immigrant trail in America today.” Crossing with the Virgin elaborates on this theme, urging readers to “see past political positions to view migrants as human beings,” and lamenting that “over the past ten years, more than 4,000 people have died while crossing the Arizona desert to find jobs, join families, or start new lives.” Similarly, Between The Lines – a “collection of letters between undocumented immigrants in California and their families back home” – seeks to put “a human face” on illegal immigration, a topic which too often “has been presented as a monolithic abstraction” rooted in “political rhetoric and fear.”

Capitalism

In contrast to the presumably benign trend of illegal immigration, capitalism, according to the scholar-authors of America’s university presses, poses a grave threat not only to our nation but to the planet at large. From Predators to Icons, a new release by Cornell University Press, contends that ruthless “predation” traditionally has been the key to economic success in United Stated States. Another Cornell title – an updated edition of Jennifer Clapp’s Toxic Exports – asserts that as a result of “investment relations in the context of a highly unequal world,” business firms in “rich industrialized countries” routinely ship “toxic waste and hazardous technologies” to “poor countries” that are “ill equipped to manage the materials safely.” In a glowing review of the book, UC Santa Cruz professor  Ronnie Lipschutz lauds Clapp for having exposed the ugly truth about the “hazardous wastes generated by contemporary industrialism and capitalism.”

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  • proxywar

    To be honest you can't find good books done by a conservative on the topic of: Western culture. Ibn Warraq and that is about it.

    • http://www.emmanuelpdx.com Franklin

      If these bleeding hearts decline America's foundation let them pack up and leave our soil. I am sure a bevy of third world countries or mid-pacific islands – with no running water or electrical networks – would love to have them.

      Franklin A. Alvey, Ph.D., Th.D.

      • guest

        what you and this article completely ignore is the central point. This is research, it goes through more rigorous review than anyone on the right could ever withstand. Put any book by Coulter, Beck, etc through a blind peer review process and it will fail. These are modern day snake oil salesmen and you are the village rube.

        Does that mean everything published by every university press is true? No. Lots of books are parts of ongoing debates where there is no consensus yet. But the work in general represents the highest level of existing knowledge in the relevant field. Facts are inconvenient and you don't get to create your own to suit your ideology. Get over it.

        • Stephen_Brady

          Guest, we don't want "consensus". Consensus is merely the forced ideological agreement of people. I say "forced" because if one does not concede the point, he does not get the professorship, the grant, or whatever.

          By the way, your second paragraph is merely your own opinion, and is not a fact.

          • guest

            Um, when it comes to research we do want consensus. Like, for example, experts agree smoking causes lung cancer. Or, historians agree the Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492. Is that forced ideological agreement? Seriously, get a grip. Your point, if you'll allow me to make it for you, is about conformity, which is a bad thing for its own sake and if it's enforced. But that happens in every profession. Don't try and tell me it's common practice to reward ideological rogues in the business/corporate world anymore than in academia. Almost every academic field I can think of goes through more overturning of received wisdom than any other field.

            re: 2nd paragraph. What part? that not everything published by uni presses is true. Ok, sure, i agree, that's my opinion. Maybe it all is true.

            If you mean the part about existing knowledge, then make a counter claim. Where do you go for your facts and what is the vetting process in those outlets?

          • Stephen_Brady

            "But the work in general represents the highest level of existing knowledge in the relevant field."

            Pure, unadulterated opinion, as when you later said, "conservatives hate America". But go ahead. I'm sure that you can find ten academics who will agree with you, and then you will have your "consensus". There's plenty of consensus in the field of … we have to call it by its new name … global climate disruption. That doesn't make them right.

            When Albert Einstein walked the earth, there were, perhaps, 2-3 dozen researchers in every major field of study. Now, there's three million researchers in the United States alone, each of them subject to all human frailties, including jealousy and anger, and all competing for that precious grant from the American taxpayer.

            Wake up and smell the roses. Science is not pure, and academic treatises are poorly reviewed by their peers.

          • guest

            you don't get my point about consensus versus conformity, but I'm used to that here, so we can move on.

            ok smart guy, how do you determine what is true and what is not for anything outside the field of your own experience? Do you believe smoking causes cancer? If so, how did you evaluate that claim? Much of the research was done, gasp, at universities! So it must be ideologically suspect. Ditto that Columbus sailed to America in 1492 (doubt you were there to bear witness). Where does your knowledge come from that is so pure relative to the evil university?

            And, really,, are you so stupid that you're claiming during Einstein's time there were only about 36 historians, 36 economists, 36 epidemiologists, 36 archaeologists, 36 sociologists, 36 physicists, etc? Wow.

            "academic treaties are poorly reviewed by their peers' Um, you were saying something about pure unadulterated opinion?

            Your point about the competing for grants, jealousies, etc are well taken, I agree. But as i said, these pressures are not unique to universities. And you still haven't enlightened us as to how you arrive at your knowledge and where it is produced that allows your facts to be free of the taint you claim affects those you disagree with. I expect you to dodge all of these issues, but at least they are recorded here for all eternity.

          • hijinx60

            Guest……..If history serves me right, Columbus NEVER MADE IT TO THE AMERICAS. He landed in the Carribeans. Just saying…

          • guest

            prove it without reference to an academic source.

          • Stephen_Brady

            That's the point. Right there. Like gravity, Columbus landing in the Caribbean has a very high order of probability. It is a fact, and not a matter of consensus.

            But when anyone refers to an academic source for "information" on global waming, Darwinian evolution, etc., all they are getting is a "consensus opinion". This is true, unless the researcher does not agree with the consensus, in which case you will likely not read that researcher's opinion, anywhere. It will be suppressed …

          • guest

            you make no sense. Why does Columbus landing in the Caribbean have a high order of probability if not for the consensus among researchers?

            reducing climate research evolutionary biology etc to consensus opinion is a pretty lame argument. Even if you are convinced there is no man made climate change (based on what, as i keep asking you?), to reduce all of the research to ideological conformity is ridiculous.

            Is there also a high order of probability that a god created the world in 6 days?

            oh, and i still want to hear you explanation of how there were only 2-3 dozen researchers in most fields in Einstein's time. That's an instant classic!

          • Stephen_Brady

            First, do not make the mistake of identifying me as a young earth creationist. I am not, even though I believe in the creation of the universe by God.

            Second, at the time when Albert Einstein and talked to Niels Bohr, there were only a few dozen important workers in every field, in the United States, as compared to the millions of "researchers" that exist, today. That is a fact, not an opinion. Now, all of these researchers regard themselves as "important", even if they're attempting to "discover" what attracts men to women (and spending millions of the taxpayer's dollars, in the process).

            Science, and the social sciences are included in this, are as corruptible as any other human endeavor. Researchers lie, cheat, steal from one another, sue, hide data, overstate their own importance and denigrate others' views unfairly and with impunity.

          • guest

            Ah, the backtracking begins. From a total BS objective statement: "2-3 dozen researchers in every major field of study" to a subjective one: "a few dozen important ones" Yea, i think i see why no one published your philosophy, and it ain't b/c you're conservative.

            "Now all of these researchers regard themselves as important…" pretty sweeping, got any proof?

            You keep repeating your one valid point, about sciences being corruptible. I agree, move on. The next relevant issue is where YOU get your facts from if not from corrupt academics. You keep ducking this b/c you know no matter what source you cite, it will be open to the same criticism. By the way, postmodernism addressed the issue of power and knowledge like with this 20 years ago. Welcome to the party. PHD in philosophy, right.

          • Stephen_Brady

            SECOND PART:

            Do you know why? Because science is no longer a calling. It's a career.

            By the way, can you or anyone "prove" evolutionary biology or anthropocentric climate change? I didn't think so. The "science" is so complex that it's impossible to prove. There's only varying degrees of probability.

            And for your information, "smart guy", I have a PhD from Princeton in Philosophy, earned in 1987. Never … not once … have any of my writings been published by a university press, even when I was a tenured, full professor.

            Why?

            Because I'm a conservative, and everyone knows it.

          • guest

            I'm not a biologist or a climatologist, so no I can't. I also can't prove smoking causes cancer but there is enough consensus in the scientific community that I'll take their word for it. I also can't prove there was an American Revolution but there's enough consensus among historians that I'll take there word for it. I also can't prove that oxygen is what keeps me alive, that eating vegetables is good for me or that that colds spread by germs. Your point?

            Gee, imagine if you conservatives held Bush to such high standards of proof when he said there was proof of WMDs in Iraq! Think of all the money we could have saved and the death and destruction that could have been avoided. But, no, save it for climate change and evolution.

          • Stephen_Brady

            "Gee, imagine if you conservatives held Bush to such high standards of proof when he said there was proof of WMDs in Iraq! Think of all the money we could have saved and the death and destruction that could have been avoided. But, no, save it for climate change and evolution."

            That was a sweet little strawman. Would you care to pile on a little more illogic?

          • guest

            ah, you're in retreat. I see. I'm surprised you didn't correct my grammar.

            ps, mr, princeton philosophy phd, you might want to look up strawman. I didn't misrepresent your argument about facts, I pointed out that if we applied your standards to the WMD issue conservatives could not have supported the invasion. So if you also agree Bush should have been held to higher standards of evidence by conservatives than he was, I apologize.

    • YeshuaisAdonai

      The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) by Robert Spencer deals greatly with Western Civilization and why we should preserve it. Another book I have had recommended to me is the Politcally Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization. Though I cannot personally vouch for it as I have not read it yet.

    • Barry Cooper

      Read From Dawn to Decadence by Jacque Barzun, or anything by Paul Johnson.

    • Raymond in DC

      How about Melanie Phillips' "The World Turned Upside Down"
      or Thomas Sowell's "Intellectuals and Society"

      I could as well ask what good books done by a LIBERAL on the topic of Western culture are worthwhile. I struggle to find them.

  • poptoy

    Identify these Americans that hate America and if they are found to be treasonous get rid of them. Other than that ignore them. Kids it is time to listen.

    • guest

      conservatives hate America. You want to deny it's progressive, human rights oriented origins and turn it into a modern version of the old European aristocracies with rigid social hierarchies. we're not gonna let you do it.

      • P. A. Helvenston

        This is one of the most blatant examples of psychological projection that I have ever seen.

        • guest

          and yours is one of the worst impersonations of a psychologist that i have ever seen.

  • john fistikis

    I regret to inform you that the same happens at the other side of the atlantic ocean in europe. It's not an american issue only. there's an emerging new world-wide elite trying to take over. Anyone interested enough to read Antonio Gramsci's idea of "cultural hegemonism" will discover that what is happening in the academia is exactly what he was talking about almost a century ago.

  • Ret. Marine

    I believe it is once again time to bring up the committee on un-American activities. The only problem will be trying to get a panel assembled of those who are not involved because the entire grubment and almost all of the academia are, in fact, involved.

  • John Beatty

    It is quite clear that the author has concentrated on a few university presses, then declared them all in disagreement with him. Sad that the University presses that still crank out academic military history (UI Carbondale, U Tenn, and even Yale and Oxford) don't hold a candle to the history pouring out of the University of Arizona presses, including some of the oly work being done on the war for Apacheria.

    But that dosen't fit his thesis, so he ignores it. Typical.

  • Jane Baer

    University Professors need to publish, thus they (or their grad students) crank out books and articles that they know will be uncontroversial. This was countered in the '60s with a radical taste & the court ordered affirmative action and a student body some of whom were bused by court order to achieve integration. The upshot was that if the book or article to be published was radical leftist, as in Black Panther apologist, it could lack the historic tidiness of logic and debate of ideas. This comparitive ease of writing and getting published by radical leftism has continued unabated.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    The problem is not confined to the universities. Imagine my surprise 4 years ago when my daughter brought home selected reading material from her world history high school class. The subject of one thin paperback was Latin American political and economic development.

    In it, Castro's Cuba was highlighted over and over as a model for development. Whether the subject was education, health care, or fighting poverty, the book repeatedly cited statistics that compared Cuba favorably with other countries of the region.

    I brought my concerns to her teacher. I asked him if we could even trust sociological statistics from a totalitarian regime that based its legitimacy entirely on ideology. His response was to stonewall.

    This is the kind of crap they're teaching our kids in public schools. Cuba is a dilapidated joke to most of Latin America. Compare its gray, moribund society with the growing dynamism and affluence of Brazil or Chile. But you'd never know it by the reading material in our schools.

    • The Hammwe

      I see similar nonsense at my daughter's schools. I work hard to debrief her. We Parents have to provide the counterpoint against the revisionist history and sociology texts.

    • sflbib

      Re: "Castro's Cuba was highlighted over and over as a model for development."

      The authors should get a load of this:

      "One of my colleagues, who travels widely as part of a UNICEF team, shared her slides of a trip to Cuba at a faculty meeting. Her conclusion was that she was 'disappointed' that things weren’t going better, because, of course, Cuba had such a 'superior political system.' Heads nodded wisely all around the table."

      It is in an article entitled, "Confessions of a Republican Academic" by Professor Laura Freburg of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and was on http://216.247.220.66/archives/academia/gopacad.h… years ago, but has since been removed.

  • Spider

    There is a simple explaination for all of this: Academics and most other liberals are esentially children. Sitting in their little bubbles they need not concern themselves with solutions to problems in the real world, like the rest of us "grown ups".
    They are the spoiled and thnakless benifactors of success and freedom that is our nation not it's defenders Like children they will never understand this.

    • Raymond in DC

      Indeed, one might wonder – were these "scholars" not able to find a teaching slot – what marketable skills they possess or how they'd make a living. I think we could close every gender and "identity" studies department and we'd be better off as a society.

  • sflbib

    Re: "One of conservatism’s most objectionable hallmarks, says the academic Left, is its tendency to deal with crime by punitive measures rather than by the purportedly more enlightened “therapeutic” approach …"

    "…But what do we know from the social-science experiments that we have already conducted? After reviewing experiments not just in criminology but also in welfare-program design, education, and other fields, I propose that three lessons emerge consistently from them.

    "First, few programs can be shown to work in properly randomized and replicated trials. Despite complex and impressive-sounding empirical arguments by advocates and analysts, we should be very skeptical of claims for the effectiveness of new, counter-intuitive programs and policies, and we should be reluctant to trump the trial-and-error process of social evolution in matters of economics or social policy.

    "Second, within this universe of programs that are far more likely to fail than succeed, programs that try to change people are even more likely to fail than those that try to change incentives. A litany of program ideas designed to push welfare recipients into the workforce failed when tested in those randomized experiments of the welfare-reform era; only adding mandatory work requirements succeeded in moving people from welfare to work in a humane fashion. And mandatory work-requirement programs that emphasize just getting a job are far more effective than those that emphasize skills-building. Similarly, the list of failed attempts to change people to make them less likely to commit crimes is almost endless – prisoner counseling, transitional aid to prisoners, intensive probation, juvenile boot camps – but the only program concept that tentatively demonstrated reductions in crime rates in replicated RFTs was nuisance abatement, which changes the environment in which criminals operate. (This isn’t to say that direct behavior-improvement programs can never work; one well-known program that sends nurses to visit new or expectant mothers seems to have succeeded in improving various social outcomes in replicated independent RFTs, {“randomized field trials”}.)

    "And third, there is no magic. Those rare programs that do work usually lead to improvements that are quite modest, compared with the size of the problems they are meant to address or the dreams of advocates."

    – Manzi, Jim; "What Social Science Does – and Doesn’t – Know", http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_3_social-scie

  • sflbib

    FAILURES OF CAPITALISM?

    Is it a failure of capitalism for textbook publishers to publish student textbooks only in hard cover so students have to pay almost twice the price of a paperback?

    Is it a failure of capitalism for a professor to require a different textbook each time he teaches the course, so you can't re-sell the book when you're done with the class?

    Is it a failure of capitalism for a professor to require an expensive textbook when a much less expensive essentially equivalent is available?

    Is it a failure of capitalism for a professor to require an expensive textbook that HE authored?

  • Barry Cooper

    I've always like the quote attributed to G.K. Chesterton (which he apparently didn't quite say) that "The danger when men cease to believe in God is not that they will believe in nothing but that they will believe anything."

    Modern academics are moral pessimists. Most of them are atheists, and most of them in effect deny free will and purpose to the larger cosmos. Yet, they find themselves needing to believe something, and to believe it with others, to form a community of some sort.

    Leftism provides the cult they need. As long as no nasty people burst the bubble, they can say and do the most obscene and idiotic things and maintain their facade of respectability.

    Here is an interesting example of the process by which the scientific method–and serious dialogue more generally–is corrupted. It's a resignation letter from the American Physical Society over their treatment of Global Warming: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole

  • Honest Abe

    Progressivism/Liberalism is destroying America…intentionally

  • http://www.myspace.com/freddawes1776/ Fred Dawes

    The world will soon be at war and maybe that is justice for fools, the USA Has always been the only light in a long night of evil.

  • Bill

    The guy who mentioned Gramsci should be applauded. That is a big part of what has happened in academia. That and the ideas of the followers of Marcuse, including repressive tolerance. The left dominates the elite schools and academia in general by granting easy tenure at "top" schools to those whose opinions fit the leftist paradigm and making it very difficult for any budding conservative. The conservatives wind up goint to think tanks because they are unwelcome at top schools in academia, at least, for the most part.

  • Dean

    You used a cover from a book by Richard Posner to illustrate this posting. Doesn't that constitute a refutation of your argument?

    Conservatives have no trouble getting published by academic presses as long as their research is solid and their writing can be comprehended. One can cite many, many titles beyond those by Richard Posner.

  • Pluml1_Mlazcar

    The world will soon be at war and maybe that is justice for fools, the USA Has always been the only light in a long night of evil.

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