La Trahison des Clercs

The state of higher education in our country is best passed over in silence, in order to avoid both useless exasperation and any provocation of "reform." The mess we are in is the result of a parade of fraudulent reforms and movements, of a national, political, and social corruption so pervasive that I see no basis for hope of the restitution of norms in the education industry. The corruption is systemic and has long since metastasized to a point past redemption. Harboring no dreams of an armed uprising by the "people"—only the homeless and the dead have evaded the totalitarian mindlessness of "education"—I only suppose that there might be some groups of private individuals who may revive ancient ideals of learning by banding together in secret.

Roger Kimball has not chosen silence as a way of dealing with outrage. And since he has taken one of the most disagreeable of topics for his exposition, the sheer readability of Tenured Radicals is greatly to his credit. Who would have expected that a book on the tendentious longueurs of pompous ideologues would be so funny? But so it is.

Mr. Kimball's method for dealing with a host of inversions, gnosticisms, non sequiturs, mendacities, opacities, and howlers is a sly if simple form of judo: he quotes them. Reading the book will show just how effectively Kimball's reproductions of abuse and exposures of betrayal work together...

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