Dicta

The home of “things said” by the National Association of Scholars.

Reading The Age of Jackson in the Age of Trump

NAS

NAS Staff members read and comment on Arthur Schlesinger's The Age of Jackson.

David Horowitz: Battlefield Notes from a War Gone Unnoticed

Peter Wood

Peter Wood reviews David Horowitz's new book, "The Left in the University."

#PCSubtitle: The End

NAS

See the complete list of #PCSubtitle winners as we round out our series. 

#PCSubtitle: Ernest Hemingway

NAS

Add your politically correct subtitle to any book by Ernest Hemingway. 

#PCSubtitle: Fyodor Dostoyevsky

NAS

Join us in remembering the classics and poking fun at political correctness. Can you compose a PC subtitle for a book by Dostoyevsky?

#PCSubtitle: Charles Dickens

NAS

What politically correct subtitles can you compose for Charles Dickens' novels? 

On Reading Old Books

Rachelle Peterson

Are the classics outdated? Four reasons support the reading of old—even flawed—books.

Update the Classics: Add a PC Subtitle

NAS

What progressive lessons can you find hidden in old books? NAS's new satirical contest invites you to add #PCSubtitles to classic texts. 

Professor Takes a Probing Look at a College's Summer Book Assignment

George Leef

Ashley Thorne Defends the Need to Challenge Students

NAS

Thorne responds to a critique of her essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Beach Books on C-SPAN

NAS

The NAS Beach Books launch event was featured on C-SPAN.

Beach Books: Readings for the Last Man

Edward R. Dougherty

A professor reflects on the childish fare being fed to today's college students.

NAS Communications Director David Randall Featured in Radio Interview

NAS

Trent England of the Thoughtful Patriot interviewed David Randall about the latest Beach Books report.

Take a Look at the Mental Junk Food Colleges Assign Students

Peter Wood

Peter Wood writes about the results of the NAS's latest Beach Books study for The Federalist.

Beach Books: 2014-2016

A report on the books assigned in 2014-2016 as "common reading."

Conforming Higher Education

Rachelle Peterson

Joanna Williams asks what “academic freedom” protects, if there is no truth for academics to seek? 

College Common Readings: Trapped in the Present

Peter Wood

University common reading programs fail to show students the value of learning from the past. 

Comments on Freshman Reading

Ashley Thorne

A new article on college summer reading programs agrees with NAS's findings: fiction, classics, and books older than the students are extremely rare.

Walden on Ice

Peter Wood

Peter Wood offers a fresh look at Henry David Thoreau's Walden

Tucked In: The Legacy of Goodnight Moon

Peter Wood

The 1945 bedtime story Goodnight Moon remains a classic invocation of peacefulness and home.

Sugar White Snow and Evergreens: New Children's Book by AQ Editor

NAS

Just in time for the holiday season, Felicia Chernesky, the managing editor of Academic Questions, has released the children's book Sugar White Snow and Evergreens: A Winter Wonderland of Color.

Authors Wanted

NAS

Textbook authors seek collaborators who have expertise in genetics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

Those Stubborn Classics

Ashley Thorne

Colleges think classic books are irrelevant, too difficult, and too privileged. They’re wrong. 

Stanley Fish's Postmodern Take on Academic Freedom

Peter Wood

NAS president Peter Wood reviews Stanley Fish's latest book, Versions of Academic Freedom.

Revisiting the Classics: Rereading William Faulkner's Go Down Moses

Glynn Custred

Glynn Custred, Professor of Anthropology at California State University East Bay, reviews William Faulkner's Go Down Moses.

Beach Books: 2013-2014

Peter Wood

A report on the books assigned in 2013-2014 as "common reading."

Oh No Pomo: Further Proof of the Rejection of Postmodernism

Carol Iannone

Literature lovers are pushing back against indiscriminate veneration of the avant garde. 

Revisiting the Classics: Barry Lyndon

Bruce Gans

Written in 1844, William Thackeray's Barry Lyndon might be a century ahead of its time.

Common Core: Yea or Nay?

NAS

A new book by Peter Wood and Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Sol Stern addresses the question—Common Core: Yea or Nay?

Revisiting the Classics: Stoner

Peter Wood

Peter Wood reviews Stoner, a book for those who persist in loving great imaginative works.

Revisiting the Classics: Michel de Montaigne

Peter Cohee

Dr. Peter Cohee teaches Classics in the Boston area. Here he reviews essays of Michel de Montaigne.

Revisiting the Classics: Anthem and the Joy of Pursuing Knowledge

Joshua Daniel Phillips

Dr. Joshua Daniel Phillips, author of 1,800 Miles: Striving to End Sexual Violence, One Step at a Time, distinguishes between Ayn Rand's Anthem and contemporary dystopian literature.

Revisiting the Classics: Joan and Peter by H. G. Wells

Adam Kissel

"Oswald’s concern—Wells’s, too—is that a fully unregulated marketplace of ideas, the open curriculum, if you will, has no telos."

Revisiting the Classics: Le Rouge et le Noir and French History

David Kaiser

Author and historian David Kaiser reviews Stendhal's Le Rouge et le Noir.

Revisiting the Classics: What's New and What's True

F.R. Duplantier

Political author F.R. Duplantier reviews Evelyn Waugh's Scoop.

Revisiting the Classics: “The End of the Tether” by Joseph Conrad

Jackson Toby

Jackson Toby, Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Rutgers University, writes on why he considers "The End of the Tether" to be the best—and perhaps most underappreciated—novella Joeseph Conrad ever wrote.

Revisiting the Classics: Native Son

Jim Hartley

Jim Hartley, Professor of Economics at Mount Holyoke College, reflects on how Native Son is taught in contemporary classrooms.

Revisiting the Classics: Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

Mitchell Langbert

NAS is calling upon readers to submit reflections on old books. Professor Mitchell Langbert discusses how Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics offers value for students that a modern text cannot provide.

Acknowledging Things of Darkness: Postcolonial Criticism of The Tempest

In the Fall 2014 issue of Academic Questions, Duke Pesta, associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, writes on the limitations of postcolional criticism.

What We're Reading: NAS Goes to the Beach 2014

NAS

Members of the NAS staff share their summer reading lists and offer book recommendations.

How Beauteous Mankind Isn't: Reflections on Today's Brave New World

Ashley Thorne

Ashley Thorne sees in today’s world elements from Huxley’s dystopia: birth control as environmentalism, world citizenship, slogans, indifference to “old things,” and abiding adolescence. 

Thalaba the Destroyer and Other Forgotten Friends: An Invitation to Readers

Peter Wood

We invite NAS readers to submit reflections on older books.

Trigger Warning Contest Winners

NAS

NAS announces the three winners of our contest on trigger warnings for classic books. 

Last Day of Trigger Warning Contest

NAS

Today is the last chance to participate in NAS's contest for the best trigger warnings for classic books. Get your submissions in by midnight!

Trigger Warning Contest

NAS

NAS is seeking submissions to its trigger warning contest. The top 3 will each receive a copy of NAS president Peter Wood's book, A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now.

Seasoned Debate: Should Education Have a Leftist Bias?

George Leef

Donald Lazere responds to George Leef's review of Why Education Should Have a Leftist Bias.

New Book: End of Academic Freedom

NAS

Three scholars have written a new book that identifies the forces that are subverting higher education's mission.

Forget Google, Memorize Poems

Peter Wood

Peter Wood writes on the joys and on the transformational power of poetry memorization.

Bartleby Goes to College

Ashley Thorne

Le Moyne College chose a story by Melville as its freshman reading assignment, citing NAS on the merits of choosing classic literature. 

Caught with Gay Books: South Carolina Punishes Colleges for Freshman Reading Choices

Ashley Thorne

South Carolina cuts funding from college common reading programs that assign gay-themed books.

An Appeal to NAS

Donald Lazere

Dr. Donald Lazere offers an appeal to NAS.

Celebrating 2013 in Education

Peter Wood

In another top 10 list, Peter Wood remembers people who did something original, creative, noteworthy, or surprising in 2013.

Test Your Knowledge: Gloom and Cheer

Peter Wood

'Tis the season to be jolly, not gloomy.

Test Your Knowledge: Hobgoblins and Consistency

Peter Wood

As we enter the last month of the semester, it's almost time for final exams. Here's a literature one for you, written by NAS president Peter Wood.

Education by Metaphor

Tessa Carter

Professor Robert Frost on poetry and education.

Beach Books Roundup

Tessa Carter

Join the conversation around NAS's August report Beach Books 2012-2013.

AQ Editor Felicia Sanzari Chernesky Publishes Children's Book

Ashley Thorne

Felicia Sanzari Chernesky has published Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes.

The Reader's Progress

Ashley Thorne

It's never too early to introduce students to classic reads.

HuffPost Live Discussion on Recent Books vs. Classics

NAS

Ashley Thorne appeared on HuffPost Live to discuss the broader consequences of college common reading consisting almost entirely of recent books.

Why Are American Universities Shying Away from the Classics?

Ashley Thorne

U.S. colleges increasingly view anything published before 1990 as 'inaccessible' for students. So much for timeless themes.

Not So Immortal: The Compromised Life of Common Reading Programs

Peter Wood

Peter Wood on what common reading assignments say about the intellectual life of colleges.

Beach Books: 2012-2013

Peter Wood

A report on the books assigned in 2012–2013 as "common reading."

7 More Recommended Books for College Common Reading

Peter Wood

We've added seven more books to our list of recommendations for college common reading programs.

What We’re Reading: NAS Goes to the Beach

NAS

Check out the NAS staff's summer reading recommendations.

Butterflies and Apes

Peter Wood

Two adventurous scholars of the 19th century, one of gorillas, one of butterflies, are examples of a nearly extinct thirst for knowledge and discovery as a personal undertaking.

New Poetry by NAS Member

NAS member David J. Rothman's two new volumes of poetry "move from darkness towards light."

The Schools of "Becoming Right"

Robert VerBruggen

VerBruggen reveals the identities of the "Eastern Elite" and "Western Flagship" referred to in the new book Becoming Right.

Ranking Colleges

William Casement

This chapter is an excerpt from William Casement's new book Making College Right, published by the National Association of Scholars.

Two Books I'd Love to See the Justices Reading

George Leef

Wounds That Will Not Heal and Mismatch take a wrecking ball to the foolish notion that "affirmative action" is a benign policy.

Elvis vs. Julia: A Lesson from the Liberal Arts

David Clemens

We would desire a free life all the more if we really grasped what the liberal arts has to teach.

On the 25th Anniversary of the Publication of Closing of the American Mind

George Leef

Jay Schalin offers his thoughts on Allan Bloom's book.

What Are Kids Reading?

Ashley Thorne

NAS board member Sandra Stotsky writes about the low levels of reading in our schools today.

Room on the Bookshelf for Contemporary Tragedy

Ashley Chandler

Ashley Chandler appreciates the book The Hunger Games for what it offers contemporary readers and suggests it has a legitimate place alongside more "classic" literature.

Not Hungry

Ashley Thorne

The bestselling pulp fiction book The Hunger Games fails to give Ashley Thorne an appetite for more.

It’s Not the Test's Fault

Kate Hamilton

Should academe leave the SAT behind? Kate Hamilton examines the current state of the test-optional admissions movement.

Oz Revisited

Peter Wood

A new book by the author of Wicked channels the contemporary academic unrelenting focus on race, gender, class, colonialism, and sustainability.

Virtue and Western Civilization

William H. Young

William Young discusses the decline of virtue, once integral to the educational process in the Western tradition.

UNC Hosts Stage Adaptation of Common Book Assignment 'Eating Animals'

Ashley Thorne

This fall the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted several events related to its common reading assignment, Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer. 

The Curriculum of Forgetting

Peter Wood

Peter Wood proposes a cure for higher education’s forgetfulness about the West’s cultural heritage.

How Will the Decline of Used-Book Stores Influence Scholarship?

Peter Wood

With so many used-book stores closing their doors, Peter Wood considers the effect of their disappearance on Academe.

Maybe the SAT Isn't So Bad After All

George Leef

In his recent book Uneducated Guesses, Howard Wainer finds that when schools go "test optional," the students who decide not to report their scores will be academically weaker ones. 

Is Tenure the Root of All Evil?

George Leef

No, but it's responsible for much that is wrong in higher education, argues Naomi Schaefer Riley in her recent book The Faculty Lounges.

Meatlessness and Sustainability, Part 1

Ashley Thorne

How is vegetarianism connected to sustainability? Ashley Thorne decides to find out.

Is Higher Ed on the Brink of Major Change?

George Leef

In the recent book by Clay Christensen and Henry Eyring, The Innovative University, the authors contend that many colleges and universities will be left in the dust unless they figure out how to adapt, much as companies have crumbled when innovative technologies hit their markets and they couldn't rapidly adjust to it.

The University of Stonehenge

Peter Wood

History is large, a new book reminds us. But, Peter Wood writes, too often our study of it is small.

Missed Opportunities in College Common Reading: A Response to Brendan Boyle

Ashley Thorne

Ashley Thorne replies to a professor of classics at UNC-Chapel Hill who wishes for more fiction in college summer reading assignments.

Colleges' Lost Love of Film

David Clemens

Colleges and universities shortchange students by "academicizing" film rather than appreciating the way it illuminates our humanness.

Books That Make Us Human: My Top Ten List

Jonathan Bean

Professor Brad Birzer, a man of unbounded energy, asked several of us to contribute a "top ten" list of books that make us human. 

Beach Books: 2011-2012

Ashley Thorne

A report on the books assigned in 2011–2012 as "common reading."

Is the "College Cost Disease" Incurable?

George Leef

John Moore, who served as president of Grove City College, discusses the recent book by Professor Robert Martin, The College Cost Disease. He thinks that Martin’s analysis is mostly correct, but argues that it is possible for colleges to overcome the disease or never contract it in the first place. Smaller institutions with a clear educational mission and careful oversight from trustees can maintain high academic standards while keeping costs down.

High Schools Discard the Canon

Ashley Thorne

A study led by NAS's Arkansas affiliate head finds that high school literature courses draw sparsely on the great books.

AQ Author David French and Wife Publish Book on Serving in Iraq War

Ashley Thorne

Academic Questions author David French and his wife Nancy were interviewed on the 700 Club last month (8-minute video), discussing their new book, Here and Away, about their experiences during his tour in Iraq. Human Events also ran a review of the book here. David French's article, "American Legal Education and Professional Despair,"  appeared in the recent issue of Academic Questions on law schools (Summer 2011).

Favorite Books: Jason Fertig

Jason Fertig offers his suggestions for summer reading.

Favorite Books: Adrianna Groth

Former NAS intern Adrianna Groth shares her list of most beloved books.

Another Liberal Dissents from the Idea that We Need More "Educational Attainment"

George Leef

New York University economics professor Edward N. Wolff is another liberal who doesn’t agree that the nation will benefit, either in rising productivity or greater equality (and inequality bothers him a lot) by pushing more students into college in hopes of increasing our level of “educational attainment.” 

Favorite Books: John Ellis

John Ellis, president of NAS's California affiliate, presents his top books of fiction and non-fiction.

Favorite Books: Joanne Jacobs

Author and education blogger Joanne Jacobs recommends some choice books for summer readers.

Favorite Books

Ashley Thorne

As the Borders stores close their doors and Kindles are creeping ‘cross our beaches, books are on our minds. So for a short summer series at NAS.org, we asked some of our friends to tell us their favorite books – top ten fiction and top ten non-fiction. We asked them for the titles of books they most enjoy, not necessarily books that are, as one friend put it, "good for you." Check them out this week and next week. What are your favorite books?

Favorite Books: Robert Jackson

The King's College English professor Robert Jackson provides some personal selections for good summer reading.

Favorite Books: Mark Bauerlein

Emory University's Mark Bauerlein offers his favorite titles for summer reading enthusiasts.

Favorite Books: Erin O'Connor

We continue our survey of summer readng recommendations, as education blogger Erin O'Connor lists some of her own favorites.

Favorite Books: David Clemens

David Clemens, English professor at Monterey Peninsula College, shares his top works of fiction and non-fiction.

Treasure Abandoned: College Common Reading Programs Continue to Miss the Best Books

Ashley Thorne

An English professor's sense of the inadequacy of This I Believe as the choice for freshman summer reading echoes NAS's calls for more rigor in common book programs.

Higher Ed, or Building Clockwork Oranges?

David Clemens

For Father’s Day, my daughter Kate sent me a t-shirt featuring David Pelham’s dust jacket of Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange (Penguin, 1962).  Director Stanley Kubrick turned Burgess’s cautionary tale into a surreal film masterpiece (Warner Bros., 1971) with graphic scenes of violence, sex, gangs, rape, and aversive conditioning, choreographed and set to thundering, Moog-synthesized Beethoven (and "Singin’ In the Rain"). The film, now reissued on Blu-Ray for its 40th anniversary, has a turbulent history.  Originally rated X, Kubrick had to re-cut it for an R but also withdrew the film from distribution in the UK where it was re-released only in 2000, after his death.  The American edition of the book which inspired Kubrick had itself been bowdlerized by the publisher (Norton) who amputated the final chapter creating a dark, ambiguous conclusion where Burgess’s 21st chapter offered a consoling one. Once, Kubrick’s opus was required viewing in my class about what a human being is and isn’t.   When Burgess/Kubrick’s sociopathic narrator, Alex, is arrested, he is subjected to aversive conditioning and becomes incapable of violent action (the conditioning also destroys his ability to enjoy “Ludwig Van”).  He is now “a clockwork orange,” what you get when you treat something organic as if it were a programmable machine; Alex’s prison chaplain protests that "When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man."  Voila, Kubrick’s film was perfect for the class, but, like Kubrick, I too withdrew it after one student became hysterical during the viewing, curling into a fetal position and shaking for an hour after class.  Apparently, Alex’s “ultra-violent” acts but ingenuous “of-course-you-understand” intimacy remain disturbing, even dangerous, enhanced by the timeless music, John Alcott’s cinematography, and Kubrick’s notoriously clinical eye.  The opening 90-second dolly back shot still chills the blood. Yet, cold as Kubrick’s films feel, he was an eminently sane man presenting a perennial dilemma--freedom vs. order.  In an interview with film historian Michel Ciment, he said

I think that when Rousseau transferred the concept of original sin from man to society, he was responsible for a lot of misguided social thinking which followed. I don't think that man is what he is because of an imperfectly structured society, but rather that society is imperfectly structured because of the nature of man. No philosophy based on an incorrect view of the nature of man is likely to produce social good.”

Indeed . . . .  If only the outcomes-and-assessment-addled mandarins who run our “imperfectly structured” education system would take Kubrick’s words to heart, the job of rebuilding the humane studies might finally begin.

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel for Students

George Leef

In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, I write about the new book In the Basement of the Ivory Tower by "Professor X." He's an adjunct who teaches English at two lower-tier schools and the book is highly revealing. Many of his students are barely literate and can't write coherently, but there they are in English 101, having gotten through the remedial filters. They have little interest in learning and are in college just for the credential. If we try to expand higher education the way President Obama and many in the higher education establishment want, the increase in student numbers will come almost entirely from students like these -- and even weaker ones. The author sees the parallel to the housing bubble. We already have lots of "students" who are very dubious candidates for mortgages; next we'll have to go to the college equivalent of "liar loans." College education still has a mystique for many people. Supposedly it does much to impart needed knowledge and skills. It's said to be our "best investment." Read this book and you'll find out it ain't necessarily so.

Sometimes a Student Really Takes to Reading

George Leef

In this Pope Center piece, David Clemens writes about that wonderful occurrence -- finding out that a student has been deeply affected by course material and has awakened to the joy of serious reading.  

Campus Favorite Greg Mortenson, Writing Lies?

Ashley Thorne

A recent journalistic investigation of a popular author, whose non-fiction books are often chosen as college "common reading," raised numerous questions as to his credibility.

Jane's Choice

Ashley Thorne

The pivotal moral decision in Jane Eyre makes little sense to a modern audience, thanks largely to today's emphasis on self-esteem education.

Taking Books for Granted

Ashley Thorne

The author of Fahrenheit 451 gave up a college education to keep his job and learn in the library, after realizing that going to college could ruin his life. His story may have relevance for many young people today.

"The First Book I've Ever Read"...No Comment

Ashley Thorne

A UConn senior, an athlete, reads a book for the first time.

Betrayed by Higher Ed

David Clemens

My former student Joshua, now ambivalently quartered at UC Santa Cruz (home of the fightin’ Banana Slugs and currently under Federal investigation for systemic anti-Semitism), has an article in Literary Matters about cheating.  Not students cheating; students who feel cheated.  He's found a couple of excellent literature classes (Cervantes) but most just use books as a vector for stone-cold political ideology. When he was at Monterey Peninsula College, Josh was the midwife who helped deliver a great books program to a college that had been out to axe all its literature courses.  In my Intro. to Lit., class he heard me refer to Robert Hutchins’s metaphor for Western literature as a “Great Conversation,” and in Literary Matters he writes

“Within weeks other members of the class and I were meeting on our own time to discuss the Great Books. We read Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. We read Sappho. We felt and spoke as if we had rediscovered some long-forgotten treasure abandoned by the generation before [my emphasis].”

Josh devoured a copy of Hutchins’s The Great Conversation that he found (where else?) in the college library discard pile.  He says, ". . . the students I came into contact with seemed to react as I had. We felt we’d missed out on something essential by not being exposed to these works earlier.” An Iraq War veteran, Josh notes that he was

inspired by The Iliad.  I read the Robert Fagles trans­lation and understood, finally, that this poem was not only about the Trojan War, but also about humanity and warfare. It might have been any war. It might be every war.”

In a similar vein, my current student Lisa says that "Before last semester I had never even read a book entirely. I realized how much I really enjoy it. Reading has opened up a whole new world for me. I am glad I finally got introduced into this world . . . .” That they both say “finally” speaks volumes about K-16 education today.  Thankfully, The Great Conversation lives on, and it's encouraging that more and more students, such as Josh and Lisa, are growing tired of being excluded from the dialogue.

My Top Ten List

George Leef

Top ten books about higher education, that is. In today's Pope Center piece, I give my picks for the books people should read if they want to understand American higher education, and invite readers to suggest others.

The Ideological Tilt of Harvard University Press

George Leef

The Econ Journal Watch categorizes ten years of titles from Harvard University Press, first culling out all those that have no philosophical angle, then categorizing the remaining books.

AQ Author Toby Huff Cited in New York Times

Ashley Thorne

The New York Times recently ran an article by Edward Rothstein ("To Each His Own Museum, as Identity Goes on Display") about museum exhibitions that seek to vindicate certain groups' historical roles but end up distorting history through an overemphasis on group identity. In it Rothstein cites The Rise of Early Modern Science, a book by 2009 Academic Questions author Toby Huff:

Many College Students Learn Little

George Leef

So says this USA Today article, reporting on the findings of a recent book entitled Academically Adrift. No surprise here. 

Huckleberry Finn and Cultural Senstitivity

Glenn Ricketts

You may have read about the latest attempt to make a classic work acceptable to contemporary PC sensibilities, in this case a new edition of Huckleberry Finn from which racial epithets - certainly authentic to the novel's social and historical setting - have been removed. It doesn't stop there, either.

The Box

David Clemens

Excited to receive the shipment from Dan Wyman Books, I ripped open the box only to feel revulsion.  Inside were old books related to the Holocaust and those who would deny its existence.

Undoing College

Jason Fertig

For students graduating this December, their real education is about to begin.

'Diversity: The Invention of a Concept' Makes 'Dissenting Book' List

Ashley Thorne

The David Horowitz Freedom Center has listed NAS President Peter Wood's book Diversity: The Invention of a Concept in its inventory of "150+ Books You Should Be Reading In Class, But Probably Aren't." Diversity is featured this week as part of the Center's "Adopt a Dissenting Book" campaign. Thanks to the Freedom Center for the plug, and we certainly encourage student to take its advice and learn the truth about the roots of the campus "diversity" movement. It's not something colleges and universities are transparent about, and it will help you distinguish diversity as an ideology from diversity as physical and cultural variation. In The New Criterion, John Derbyshire called Diversity "a fine book, full of cogent arguments, curious facts, and nasty slimy things that burrowed away unnoticed under the foundations of our culture till Professor Wood turned them up with his trowel." We don't want today's students to miss those arguments, facts, and slimy things.

Good Read

Mary Grabar

I'd like to share with you my post at American Culture on Christopher Hill's novel. I'm sorry to say I didn't know about  this novel until I visited the Alexander Hamilton Institute last summer.  Fortunately, I was driving, so I could load up my trunk with books from the bookstore.  Hill's novel was one of the gems.

Reading Pages, Reading Screens

Ashley Thorne

NAS published articles on both sides of the debate over the future of reading. One held up the merits of traditional books and asserted that we have much to lose as human beings if we abandon the printed word, and the other defended the Kindle as a helpful option for the modern reader. "Inflammatory Books on Kindle? Reigniting the Written Word,” by David Clemens, argues that, "When the book becomes disembodied, so does the reader." Jason Fertig counters in "A Kindled Spirit"  that "there is no need to fear the Kindle and its electronic cousins, for they are on our side [the side in favor of reading books]." We hope to have more pro/con pairs like this in the future.

The Life and Thought of Andrei Sakharov

Jamie Glazov

FrontPage Magazine interviews NAS board member and history professor Jay Bergman on his new book, Meeting the Demands of Reason.

Inflammatory Books on Kindle? Reigniting the Written Word

David Clemens

What do we stand to lose if all our books are digital?

Beyond Beach Books

Peter Wood

What's next for campus common reading programs?

Huffington Post Article on NAS's Recommended Books

Ashley Thorne

Our book list is featured in a HuffPo slideshow.

Back from the Beach: 100 New Books

Ashley Thorne

NAS's updated database is the most reliable and current resource on American college common reading.

New Series on Common Reading at NAS.org

Ashley Thorne

To make it easier for our readers to find our work on college common reading, we created a new article series on the NAS website, www.nas.org. You can find these articles by going to the green "Article Series" button on the left sidebar of the homepage, and clicking "Common Reading Project" on the flyout menu. We'll soon add a button on the homepage for our "Better Books" for common reading programs. Our study on common reading is a platform we aim to build on in future undertakings, so stay tuned for further developments, and let us know your suggestions for additional related projects.

CUNY Affiliate Urges Common Reading Transparency

Dorothy Lang

The CUNY Association of Scholars gives Brooklyn College three recommendations for improving its freshman book assignment.

Read These Instead: Better Books for Next Year's Beaches

Peter Wood

NAS's picks for college common reading programs.

A Course on Zombie Literature

George Leef

No, this isn't from The Onion -- a college course on zombie literature.

Common Reading Controversy at Brooklyn College

Ashley Thorne

Is Brooklyn College using freshman reading for ideological goals?

Missed Opportunity: Summer Readings for Incoming Freshmen

George Leef

In today's Pope Center article, Jenna Robinson delves into the sad history of freshman summer reading programs. Unfortunately, the books that schools usually choose are either feel-good fluff or politically tendentious tracts. Her conclusion: "Universities have one chance to make a first impression on students; they should use that opportunity to choose books that are rigorous, that challenge students to think critically about new ideas, and that genuinely introduce them to university work and intellectual life." For the most part, universities blow that chance.

Beach Books: 2010-2011

Ashley Thorne

A report on the books assigned in 2010–2011 as "common reading."

Update: Top Ten Books for College Students...Still No Comment

Glenn Ricketts

Top reading on campus today includes Nightlight, a parody of the bestseller Twilight by Harvard satirists, and Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.

Top 10 Books for College Students...No Comment

Ashley Thorne

Popular campus reads today include Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.

New Book by NAS Board Member

Ken Doyle

Today we introduce a new feature on our website in which NAS members write about books they have authored. Our first such article is by NAS board member Ken Doyle.

Superb New Book by CT Affiliate Head

Ashley Thorne

We are proud to recognize that Jay Bergman, president of the NAS Connecticut affiliate and professor of history at Central Connecticut State University, has published a new book, Meeting the Demands of Reason: The Life and Thought of Andrei Sakharov.

PC U

Peter Wood

We are proud to announce the arrival of a new book, The Politically Correct University, published by the American Enterprise Institute, which features chapters by NAS's president Peter Wood and chairman Steve Balch. Dr. Wood’s chapter, “College Conformity 101: Where the Diversity of Ideas Meets the Idea of Diversity,” teases out the two contrasting meanings of the mysterious word “diversity,” and Dr. Balch's chapter, “The Route to Academic Pluralism,” sets out some practical tactics for reforming higher education. Other authors in The Politically Correct University are friends and partners of NAS, such as Victor Davis Hanson, Anne Neal, and Stanley Rothman. The Politically Correct University is available for purchase here.

Diversity's Doom & Pluralism's Plans

Ashley Thorne

A new book, The Politically Correct University, features chapters by NAS's president Peter Wood and NAS chairman Steve Balch.

What Good Are People?

Ashley Thorne

Two ominous new developments for the sustainability movement: the MAHB and a sustainability literacy handbook.

School Lit: Should Students Pick Their Own?

Ashley Thorne

What do you think?

Interim Report on Our Search for Political Books and Authors

Peter Wood

The results so far and a SURVEY you can take to help us narrow them down and straighten them out.

We Need Your Help!

Peter Wood

Who are the key authors and what are the key books in the liberal, conservative, libertarian and radical traditions? Post your answer here or send an email to nasonweb@nas.org.

Ask a Scholar: Tess of the d'Urbervilles—Rape or Seduction? Part 2

Carol Iannone

Why did Hardy leave his readers in the dark?

Spilling the Beans

Peter Wood

A radical prof celebrates the “democratic space” of the contemporary university.

Smell of Books

Ashley Thorne

In the age of the Kindle, Google Books, the iPhone, and audio books, have we lost something precious now that we can't smell what we read?

Closed Eyes

Glenn Ricketts

This article, a review of the book Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities, appeared in the spring 2009 issue of Academic Questions (volume 22, number 2).

Updike at Rest

Peter Wood

Will the great American author's legacy outlive him?

Extra-Curricular Updike

Peter Wood

Should college students read novels by contemporary author John Updike?

Good Sports

Peter Wood

How the college sports industry undermines higher education

A Critic in Full: A Conversation with Tom Wolfe

Carol Iannone

This article, an interview with Tom Wolfe, appeared in Academic Questions (vol. 21, no. 2).

A Real Page-Turner: The Kindle

Ashley Thorne

Amazon's electronic books-on-tablet device stirs literary embers at NAS.

Wartime Thrift

Ashley Thorne

Book review: a British architect weighs in on the sustainability movement's anti-progress gospel.