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“Academic Freedom” used to be a cherished principle among university faculty—the idea that scholarly investigation must proceed unhindered, even if the results might not be pleasing to administrators or trustees. However, this idea went hand in hand with a commitment by professors not to proselytize their students with their own personal beliefs.
Well, it has been a while since this was the guiding principle at most universities. Indeed, when David Horowitz, never one to shrink from a fight, tried to bring this idea back to the campus, he was accused, with marvelous irony, of “McCarthyism”—by people who didn't remember that academic freedom was used in the 1950s to protect left-wing professors from Senator Joe McCarthy.
Horowitz tells here of his crusade to get his “Academic Bill of Rights” adopted on campuses, and of the incredible abuse he has been subjected to, especially by professors in fields like “feminist studies” and “peace studies,” but also by administrators who defend their radical colleagues. But Horowitz tells also of the heartening response he has received from students, many of whom have tried on their own to combat their campus orthodoxy, only to come up against the power of the academic institution.
It will be a long battle—not least, as Horowitz points out, because the radicals have used their dominance of education schools to bring their ideas right down to K-12 classrooms. But we must fight it, and Horowitz shows us the way.
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