Friday, January 28, 2011

Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class. - Free Online Library

Also, check the online review here:

Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class. - Free Online Library

The grand vision of the public university as a place where people of diverse ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds come together to learn and teach each other has been undermined by a conservative culture war, asserts English professor Newfield. He links the culture war with an economic war on the middle class that has resulted in a diminution of wages and weakening of political influence. The democratizing mission of public universities has been overrun by market forces that have chipped away at the hard-won benefits of the very people the universities were graduating. Newfield documents the influence of the market on everything from funds allocated to hot career areas of science and commerce while the humanities languish to universities outsourcing student services to tiered employment systems. He examines the historical vision of a knowledge society, represented by public universities, and the attacks of conservatives threatened by its egalitarianism, with raging debates over affirmative action and “political correctness.” Finally, he offers strategies for reclaiming the original mission of the public university. An authoritative, accessible analysis of change in higher public education. --Vanessa Bush


Newfield's argument is original, his evidence varied and rich, and his historical narrative coherent. He situates the university in its broadest social context, and shows that the 'culture wars,' far from being a sideshow, have in fact cleverly been fomented by conservatives to reshape the values of the university, the world-view of its graduates, and the economy which it significantly shapes and which shapes it.
--David L. Kirp, author of Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education


I thought this looked like a good one, as it coincides well with my "Is Capitalism Christian" essay. It's an interesting thought: How the Conservative Political Agenda may be really a shill to dumb people down. That is, the ones they can't indoctrinate.

Monday, January 17, 2011 I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey (9780307358882): Izzeldin Abuelaish: Books I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey (9780307358882): Izzeldin Abuelaish: Books

"What can you do? You can do a lot. You can support justice for all by speaking out loudly to your family, friends, community, politicians and religious leaders. You can support foundations that do good work. You can volunteer for humanitarian organizations. You can vote regressive politicians out of office. You can do many things to move the world toward greater harmony…

"I know that what I have lost, what was taken from me, will never come back. But as a physician and a Muslim of deep faith, I need to move forward to the light, motivated by the spirits of those I lost. I need to bring them justice… I will keep moving but I need you to join me in this long journey."
-from I Shall Not Hate

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish - now known simply as "the Gaza doctor" captured hearts and headlines around the world in the aftermath of horrific tragedy: on January 16, 2009, Israeli shells hit his home in the Gaza Strip, killing three of his daughters and a niece.

By turns inspiring and heartbreaking, hopeful and horrifying, this is Abuelaish's account of a Gazan life in all its struggle and pain. A Palestinian doctor who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, Abuelaish is an infertility specialist who lived in Gaza but plied his specialty in Israeli hospitals. From the strip of land he calls home (a place where 1.5 million refugees are crammed into 360 square kilometres of land), the Gaza doctor has been crossing the lines that divide the region for most of his life, as a physician who treats patients on both sides of the border and as a humanitarian who sees the need for improved public health and education for women as the way forward in the Middle East.

But it was Abuelaish's response to the loss of his children that made news and won him humanitarian awards around the world. Instead of seeking revenge or sinking into hatred, in this personal account of his life, Izzeldin Abuelaish is calling for the people of the Middle East to start talking to each other. His deepest hope is that his daughters will be the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

About the Author

Izzeldin Abuelaish, MD, MPH, is a Palestinian physician and infertility expert who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. He received a scholarship to study medicine in Cairo, and then received a diploma from the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of London. He completed a residency in the same discipline at Soroka University Hospital in Israel, followed by a subspecialty in fetal medicine in Italy and Belgium. He then undertook a masters in public health (health policy and management) at Harvard University. Before his three daughters were killed in January 2009 during the Israeli incursion into Gaza, Dr. Abuelaish worked as a researcher at the Gertner Institute at the Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv. He now lives with his family in Toronto, where he is an associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.