The UnCivil University

Executive Summary (PDF)

The UnCivil University: Politics and Propaganda in American Education

The UnCivil University
The American university is suffering from a moral crisis unseen since the great social upheavals of the 1960s. In the name of academic freedom, the core values of higher education—honest scholarship, unbiased research, and diversity of thought and person—have been corrupted by an academy more interested in preserving its privileges than in protecting its own integrity. Aided and enabled, sometimes unwittingly, by faculty, administrators, trustees, philanthropists, and even the government of the United States, the American university has lost its civility.

Nowhere is this loss more apparent than in the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on college campuses. The UnCivil University, the first volume in the series, Politics & Propaganda in American Education, documents the alarming rise in bigotry and bullying in the academy. Using a range of evidence, from first-hand accounts of intimidation of students by anti-Israel professors to anti-Semitic articles in student newspapers and marginalization of pro-Israel scholars, The UnCivil University exposes the unspoken world of double standards, bureaucratic paralysis, and abdication of leadership that not only allows but often supports a vocal minority of extremists on campus.

The UnCivil University tells a cautionary tale for all readers, whatever their background, of how higher education, an institution so touted for its open-mindedness, has become a prime vehicle for politically motivated prejudice. With millions of students passing through American universities each year, an attack against some should be of concern to all.

Gary Tobin and his co-authors identify a pernicious trend on college campuses and devote their considerable analytical ability to finding ways to combat it. Anti-Semitism is a blight on any society; it has no place in civil discourse. As this book makes clear, much work remains before it is banished to history forever.
Congressman Tom Lantos , Democrat, San Francisco, San Mateo

The UnCivil University is one of those rare books that shines a light on a problem that many have been too blind to see or too ashamed to acknowledge—namely, the rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on the American college campus. Gary Tobin and his colleagues document this troubling development with meticulous care, showing how at many leading universities a small but aggressive minority has succeeded in sowing hatred for Israel and hostility toward Jewish students and faculty who dare to defend the only free and democratic state in the Middle East. This is a timely book, because the agents of bigotry and unreason on the campus have advanced very far toward their goal of closing down enlightened debate on the future of the Middle East. If they succeed, all of us—Jews and gentiles alike—who believe in the ideals of pluralism and rational discourse will be the losers. The publication of this volume represents an important step in restoring a civil and enlightened university.
James Piereson , Executive Director, John M. Olin Foundation

The one-sided coercive atmosphere prevalent on so many of our campuses is depriving an entire generation of the kind of education they deserve. When it comes to social, political, religious, and ideological matters, the academy has too often shown a pronounced preference for only one perspective. As this important book makes clear, it is high time for all of us to insist that colleges promote a civil yet robust exchange of ideas—the very foundation of a liberal education.
Anne Neal , President, American Council of Trustees and Alumni


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