Making College Right
by William Casement, 2012
American higher education faces an array of major problems, including skyrocketing tuition, mania over college rankings, the crass commercialiam of big-time sports, controversial admissions preference for certain groups, a basic liberal arts curriculum that fails to do its job and increasingly shifts the responsibility to high schools, to name only some. Yet the powers in control -- colleges nationwide, along with U.S. NEWS magazine, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the College Board -- fail to make essential changes. Instead they present a facade of rationalizations and misinformation to justify unsound practices.
WILLIAM CASEMENT confronts this situation as both a professional philosopher and successful businessman whose perspective is unique. MAKING COLLEGE RIGHT cuts through the public persona of the higher education establishment, exposing each faulty argument in turn, then applies common sense principles for setting our nation's colleges on a proper course. Included are proposals for inducing colleges to lower tuition, creating a far better ranking system, the full professionalization of Division I sports, and major revision of the core curriculum, among others. The book's engaging "straight talk" style makes it appropriate for a broad audience.
Getting Under the Skin of Diversity
by Larry Purdy, 2008
Getting Under the Skin of “Diversity” is about the struggle for civil rights in the United States. That struggle has had many twists and turns, but none more ironic than the emergence in American higher education of a doctrine that claims the moral authority of the civil rights tradition to justify a system of racial preferences. In this book, Larry Purdy reclaims that authority on behalf of the ideal of genuine equality. He writes, “If our life experience has taught us anything, it is that continuing a pattern of ‘race-consciousness’ does not cure racism. It merely perpetuates it.” Purdy was one of the lawyers who represented the plaintiffs Barbara Grutter and Jennifer Gratz in the pair of racial preference cases that the U.S. Supreme Court decided at the end of its term in June 2003. Purchase Book >>
The National Association of Scholars, with the permission of the author, serialized this important book on our website. See Chapter PDFs >>
A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now
by Peter Wood, 2007
America has gotten into ugly moods before, but never as today. In taking us on a guided tour of American acrimony, Peter Wood traces the roots of anger's triumph in our social and political world. He examines the liberating bromides of psychotherapists, the bellicosity of the war between the sexes, the broadsides of the ethnic separatists, and the jeremiads of fundamentalists of all stripes. A Bee in the Mouth is a provocative dissection of an alarming phenomenon.
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Diversity: The Invention of a Concept
by Peter Wood, 2004
Diversity is America's newest cultural ideal. Corporations alter their recruitment and hiring policy in the name of a diverse workforce. Universities institute new admissions rules in the name of a diverse student body. What its proponents have in mind when they cite the compelling importance of diversity, Peter Wood argues in this elegant work, is not the dictionary meaning of the word—variety and multiplicity—but rather a set of prescribed numerical outcomes in terms of racial and ethnic makeup. Writing with wit and erudition, Wood has undertaken in this entertaining book nothing less than the biography of a concept. Drawing on his experience as a social scientist, he traces the birth and evolution of "diversity." He shows how diversity sprawls across politics, law, education, business, entertainment, personal aspiration, religion, and the arts, as an encompassing claim about human identity. It asserts the principle that people are, above all else, members of social groups and products of the historical experiences of those groups. In this sense, Wood shows, diversity is profoundly anti-individualist and at odds with America's older ideals of liberty and equality. Wood warns that as a political ideology, diversity undercuts America's long effort to overcome racial division. He shows how the ideology of diversity has propelled the Neo-racialists on the political Right as well as those on the multi-culturalist Left. But even if the diversity movement did not exacerbate racial and social division, he believes that it would be a questionable cultural ideal. As Wood points out, "Our liberty and our equality demand that we hold one another to common standards and that we reject all hierarchy based on heredity—even the hierarchy that comes about when we grant present privileges to make up for past privileges denied." Purchase Book >>