Welcome to the Ivory Tower of Babel: Confessions of a Conservative College Professor
This lively collection of essays surveys the campus culture wars from the conservative side of the trenches. Adams, a criminal justice professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, takes a big swipe at the politically correct, feminists, gay activists, the diversity establishment and what he portrays as the mealy-mouthed administrators and thin-skinned colleagues and students who are quick to fire off thoughtless allegations of racism and sexism. He takes on Cornel West, for his defense of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and The Vagina Monologues, for a general over-ripeness, but mostly sticks to his own experiences asserting First Amendment rights against what he feels is the heavy-handed and censorious climate of left-wing orthodoxy at his own school. Adams clearly relishes the role of conservative gadfly. He casts himself as the eternal target of tirades in the cafeteria or the men's room, and enjoys offering up provocative Modest Proposals, like university affirmative action programs for underrepresented Republicans, or a Men's Resource Center where victims of false rape accusations can retreat for counseling. The book's last 50 pages are devoted to an acrimonious exchange of e-mails with a radical student over the September 11 attacks, which escalated into an accusation of libel and an investigation of Adams's e-mail by UNCW, and finally ignited a national press rumpus that landed him a guest spot on Hannity and Colmes. Some of the contretemps he writes about, like a professor's wild charges of sexual harassment and""terrorism"" against some colleagues, or a catfight between two female professors over a male job applicant, seem like little more than departmental politics run amok. But Adams has a dry wit and a sharp, if partisan, eye for the excesses and fatuities of the left, one that raises important issues about attitudes toward free speech and tolerance on campus.