Friday, March 24, 2006

David Horowitz on the State of Academia

I also wanted to post this review of a new book by Horowitz that Elena sent me. It's somewhat related to this Mearsheimer + Walt meshugas. It tackles some of the perverse orthodoxies that have taken over many academic institutions.

I will restrict myself to a very small excerpt. Perhaps some of the things in the article are exaggerated, but I've had the following confirmed by a friend of mine here who works on the Armenian genocide under the direction of a professor who was one of those unsuccessful applicants to the Michigan position. That professor also confirmed the Berkeley story.

Having said all this, I recognize that Horowitz is a little crazy and that he has his own agenda. So for now, I am not willing to completely endorse this book.

The body of Horowitz's book is a kind of rogues' gallery. As a professor of Armenian studies, I've met over my lifetime hundreds of survivors of the Armenian Genocide and have read scores of testimonies in Armenian and other languages. I've also traveled to Eastern Anatolia and spoken with Turkish and Kurdish farmers who spoke freely of the massacres. Often the ruins of Armenian villages and even quarters of whole cities are untouched. So I note with appreciation the inclusion of Hamid Algar, a professor of Persian and Islamic studies (and, for the record, a superb scholar) who in 1998 spat on members of the Armenian Student Association at UC Berkeley. He is quoted as having said to them: "It was not a genocide, but I wish it were, you lying pigs... You stupid Armenians, you deserve to be massacred!"

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