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The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Respected author, critic, and essayist Bruce Bawer—whose previous book, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within, was a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist—now offers a trenchant and sweeping critique of the sorry state of higher education since the campus revolutions of the late ’60s and early ’70s. I ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Broadside e-books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Leah
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
An in depth book about how a liberal education is anything but in today's universities. Bawer goes through the many different 'group' studies, from Women's Blacks, Hispanics, Gays and onto the newer smaller groups - fat studies, men studies.
At times it was a painful read - although I'm guessing it was more painful for Bawer to sit through these lectures and symposiums.

It has been noted that once a group exists - even if they accomplish their original goal - they will not disband - they will simp
...more
Keith
Despite the title this is a sober and judicious analysis of how the many strains of identity studies came to be. To me it now appears as if every good idea gets hijacked and turned into a radical protest group. Any concept of moderation and communication now seems impossible. (2012)
Rachel
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an important and valuable book. That is not to say I agree with its entire contents, but it's very well-written and the arguments are clearly stated. Bawer focuses on identity studies, an academic discipline that arose from the ashes of 1960s activism. And therein lies the problem - academic disciplines that pretend to be about intellectual research, criticism, and analysis, are really just thinly-disguised systems of political indoctrination. That would be fine for a community-based org ...more
Vagabond of Letters, DLitt
6.5/10

From a classical liberal, slightly neolib perspective, which vitiates Bower's ability to destruct the premises and conclusions of his opponents, because both share at least some commitment to liberal democracy, differing in their degrees of tolerance for heterodoxy and along the reformist-revolutionist axis. This turns in to the left eating the left in both directions, but with the exponential absurdity of the postmaterial, pomo identity left on good enough display. The average moderate or
...more
Ira Therebel
I am pretty interested in this topic. This book is specifically about America but we have the same issue. And even though it is almost 10 years old it still applies. Humanities in universities lost what they used to be and became a sort of radical political movements where the students are indoctrinated into very specific views without alternative theories and ability to question or discuss what they are taught.

This kind of political books need to be read carefully because authors also have the
...more
Alicia Fox
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book boils down to sh*t-talking about college liberalism by someone who knows his sh*t. In brief, most every department ending in “Studies” (Black Studies, Women’s Studies, Chicana/o Studies, etc.) had its origins in the social movements of the late 1960s. While the backers of these departments (students, members of the community) had good intentions, the departments themselves became run by “hustlers” and those with a Marxist agenda. (As much as I’d like to scream “OMG this is radical righ ...more
Justin Michael James Dell
The Humanities Have Been Hijacked

This is an apposite piece of investigative reporting on the deplorable state of higher education in the West, shedding light on the recent downward spiral of colleges in North America into a state of utter lunacy over such issues as 'safe spaces' and 'cultural appropriation'. This psychosis is the direct result of the cult of 'identity studies' that has taken the arts & humanities at most universities by storm. A priesthood of professors and their zealous acolyte
...more
Duncan Smith
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book should be required reading in all Western universities. It details the transformation of a liberal arts education in America from being an intellectually curious and rewarding pursuit to what it is now - a narrow pursuit of grievances and political agendas.

The last chapter is especially good in pointing out what a waste of opportunity this is. An education is a rare opportunity to develop the mind and spirit; to explore the richness of thought, ideas, and culture of human civilization.
...more
Marshall
This book explores the "identity studies" popular in university humanities departments. These fields are based on pseudoscience, social constructionism, and postmodernism and contain more political propaganda and group therapy than serious academic research.

They have gained a foothold in these instutions by using threats of racist/sexist/homophobic accusations, and in some cases hunger strikes. No institution wants this kind of branding, so they are anxious to give into demands for such departme
...more
Heidi Campbell
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellently written and eye-opening expose. Explains how the "Identity studies" academic movement has been changing the face of the Humanities & Liberal Arts into "illiberal" theories, with jargon and dogma, and little if any room for varying opinions. In clear, well researched, very readable prose, and not lacking for humor, the author shows the irony of post-modern "social constructionism." He does a thorough job of demonstrating how the theorists, proponents and instructors of these "identity ...more
Michelle
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: law
Strong ideas, some flaws

Bawer makes bold and pertinent points about the rise of identity studies and the intellectual laziness that is often found within those departments. From my own experience with women's and gender studies, he is right on the money. I left identity studies for anthropology once the misandry in the field became apparent, and it was a breath of fresh air to look at culture holistically instead of carving it up into tiny fragments, each with its own set of mind-police. However
...more
Heather
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's another Decline of Western Civilization Via Higher Education tome, this time with identity politics as the culprit. I don't know if everything boils down to a capitalist vs. Marxist contest but he does bring evidence to the table.

He does seem to believe--and I agree--that some of the studies cited started out as very worthwhile (black studies as my favorite example). Their decline into "It's all the fault of the White Heterosexual Man! And we must overthrow him!" is made all the more tragic
...more
Jake M.
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The Victims' Revolution focuses on the rise of identity studies and their effects on academia. Bawer assesses how gender, cultural, Chicano, Black, Queer and intersectionality studies depicts their subjects as being founded on victimhood, disempowers various groups, and indoctrinates students with the victimhood complex. Some topics receive their own chapter-length focus, however Bawer threads the argument for a classical liberal education throughout the text. Praise of theoretical and literary ...more
Sara Giacalone
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a good book, and an important one, but it made me want to punch someone in the throat.... Why is it important? Because it documents the rise of identity politics, and how it has decimated liberal arts programs and critical thinking skills throughout our great nation. Frankly, I'm sick and tired... of seeing the political movement away from humanist ideals and into specific gender politics, of being lectured to on the internet about the "correct" way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo since I'm w ...more
Bracey
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The title of this book intrigued me because of the intersectionality craze that some have fallen into. Bruce Bawer is no stranger to me and if you haven't read his other works, you should. If you believe you are a social/cultural/societal victim of some sort, and everything that happens to you feels like oppression (though you may not admit it, then this is a book you need to begin reading. This book talks about some of the craziness that is going on in universities and victims organizations. I' ...more
Jack
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We're all victims now

If you believe you are a victim, everything that happens to you feels like oppression. This book talks about some of the craziness that is going on in universities and victims organizations. Politicians have divided us into identity groups that all feel victimized. The divisiveness and group dynamics are making more people miserable . This book is hard to muddle through. Some of the things described are really disheartening. This isn't going to end well
Samir Musallam
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I just did not enjoy it at all. The author's arguments lacked inspiration and he just came off as a judgemental individual who thinks everyone could be as "smart" as he is.
Roy
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sociology
Bawer has written well thought out, well researched books on our society in today's world. Whether talking about Christianity, Islam, or here, identity studies, he provides a well reasoned point of view backed with a great deal of research both from the written word and from personal experience. This book as a case in point was written based on reading the literature, books assigned in college classes, going to conferences, personal interviews,etc. He is stylistically a good writer keeping the r ...more
Lori
Dec 12, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. As a homeschooling mom and adjunct professor who is a product of an identity studies, theory-based undergrad and graduate education, and is increasingly realizing how limited my education was, I am very interested in critiques of the higher ed system and alternatives.

Bawer's book provides some useful insights, especially regarding the overt politicization of education (with a helpful note in the last chapter that such politicization is not the result of any sort of left-wing conspirac
...more
Greg Perciak
Apr 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Homocon Bruce Bawer is an esteemed culture critic and essayist on the political right. In this book, which is academic in tone, he summarizes the history of women's studies, black studies, Chicano/a studies and Queer studies. He spends the most time on women's studies, perhaps because it is the most developed "theory," I don't know. I can't say how accurate it is because I don't know the literature. I'd rather research the nutritional requirements of the opossum before reading anything on femini ...more
Estelle
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Bawer delivers a powerful critique of the rise of identity politics in instituions of higher education across America. Whereas in the past, a classic liberal arts education entailed studying the great literature, history, art, and philosophy of Western Civilization, now in today's "politically correct" environment, undistinguished minority authors and artists replace the "dead white males", and capitalism, democracy, and individual liberty are denounced as systems of oppression. Ironically, rath ...more
Kurtz
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
For those who have seen the graphic evidence of what Bawer is talking about in ten thousand You Tube videos, it is good to have a well-researched and authoritative book on the subject. He dissects the victimhood beliefs of identity-politics and shows how the university system has become an indoctrination factory, blind to everything except its own ideology.
Jeff Ford
Dec 31, 2012 rated it liked it
A critical look at the victim movement and its hypocrisy and the poor quality of the associated academics. I found it interesting that the author identifies himself as a gay man several times. I guess labels are labels.
Robin Plan
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
College kids ain't shit.
Clare Cannon
Oct 04, 2012 marked it as goodreadingguide-com
HS to review for www.goodreadingguide.com ...more
E. Scott Harvey
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pretty good book on the state of higher education in America, and what that means for the culture.
Carmen
rated it really liked it
Dec 05, 2012
Mary Ronan Drew
rated it it was amazing
May 31, 2019
Anderson dos Santos Costa
rated it it was amazing
Sep 13, 2017
Charles DeWitt
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Apr 20, 2013
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Theodore Bruce Bawer, who writes under the name Bruce Bawer, is an American writer who has been a resident of Norway since 1999. He is a literary, film, and cultural critic and novelist and poet who has also written about gay rights, Christianity and Islam.

Bawer's writings on literature, gay issues and Islam have all been highly controversial. While championing such authors as William Keepers Maxw
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“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” That’s Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani human rights...
34 likes · 12 comments
“The denunciation and smearing of truly gifted people like Rodriguez—people the Chicano community should be proud of—by the self-appointed gatekeepers of Chicano Studies is, alas, an everyday spectacle. (Did anyone in the Chicano Studies community even take note when Dana Gioia, who is one of the best poets of his generation and happens to be half Mexican American, was named chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002? No, because he made it on his merits and not by being a victimization hustler.)” 2 likes
“But Friedan and Greer’s movement had passed them by: rape hysteria became fully integrated into mainstream feminism, resulting in such events as the so-called Take Back the Night rallies at colleges around America, which are premised on the idea that when darkness falls over the quad, male students metamorphose, werewolf-like, into potential rapists.” 2 likes
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