Trembling in the Ivory
Perfect for the scholar and the layman!
must read for anyone invested in our nation's education systems…
In this gem of a book, scholar and wit Kenneth Lasson takes
on all manner of excesses in the Ivory Tower which, from his
insider's viewpoint, constitute little less than a full-scale
assault on American values and mores. The ideological warfare
is being waged by a slew of vociferous academicians whose predominance
is manifested by stifling academic bureaucracies, radical feminist
and deconstructionist faculties, and overbearing speech and
conduct codes -- all in invidious pursuit of narrow but pervasive
political agendas. Lasson uses his sharply pointed pen to skewer
both the powerful and the petty, from perpetually outraged law
professors and would-be literati to ethnic hatemongers with
Colleges and universities, Lasson reminds us, are not intellectual
playgrounds, but training places for future social, political,
and artistic leaders—so what’s said and not said
on those campuses have a far-reaching effect on every one
of us. We depend on academic institutions to take our best
and brightest and nurture them to think creatively and independently.
What's happening, however, is often just the opposite: the
purposeful establishment of antii-establishment bias, a closely-guarded
breeding ground in which students and professors are too intimidated
to challenge extremist ideas. Lasson argues that there is
nothing wrong with liberal and multi-cultural approaches to
education, so long as they are presented fairly and in a broadly
inclusive context. In what is the only truly funny scholarly
book to hit the shelves,
Trembling in the Ivory Tower ponders the questions many of
us should be asking, and supplies the answers we should be
demanding: Why have universities apparently abandoned the
concept of vigorous debate in an open marketplace of ideas?
Why has no university speech or
conduct code yet survived a constitutional challenge? Why
are senior professors increasingly being charged with creating
"hostile environments" despite emerging victorious
whenever they challenge their arbitrary punishments in court?
In an age of easy catch phrases, media hype, and watered down
scholarship, Trembling in the Ivory Tower is a welcome breath
of fresh air that pays homage to original, not merely popular,
About Kenneth Lasson
Lasson has taught at Cambridge University, University of Haifa,
University of Aberdeen, and Loyola College (MD); and worked
at Brookings Institution, Goucher College, and University
of Maryland School of Law.
His nine previous books have been reviewed in the New Yorker,
New York Review of Books, and Washington Post, among others.
He has appeared as a guest on “The Today Show,”
“Larry King” (radio), “The Diane Rehm Show”
(NPR), “NBC Nightly News,” and “Chris Matthews’
Hardball (CNBC), among others.
His writings have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Washingtonian
Monthly, Washington Post, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer,
Baltimore Sun, and Jerusalem Post.
A fulltime law professor at the University of Baltimore,
he lives in Baltimore with his wife, and has three grown children.