America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered in the Obamacrats)

David Gelernter, Author
David Gelernter. Encounter (NBN, dist.), $23.99 (200p) ISBN 978-1-59403-606-4
Reviewed on: 06/18/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
Paperback - 185 pages - 978-1-59403-708-5
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In his provocative newest, Gelernter (Judaism: A Way of Being), a professor of computer science at Yale, argues that the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s gave rise to Imperial Academia and to a liberal "Airhead Army" that has staged a "coup" on American education. Gelernter uses "American Jews" and a discussion of "mainstream culture" to help trace how the ousting of "the WASP elite" led to the "Great Reform" of America's colleges, swinging them inexorably toward the political Left. He proffers the term PORGIs ("post-religious, globalist intellectuals") to describe those who have taken the place of WASPs, and explains that these "intellectuals" are responsible for the fall of conservative influence on academia, and by extension on America's politics. For Gelernter, President Obama (a leading "PORGI Airhead: smart, educated, ignorant") is emblematic of this descent. Though the book's aim is to "take [education] away" from these "liberal airheads," the author too often relies on simplistic metaphors and propagandist catchphrases. While Gelernter's historical account of American educational reform is intriguing, his unapologetic partisanship will estrange anyone uncomfortable with the term "Obamacrats." (June)
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