Letter to the Wall Street Journal: Horowitz and the Academic Freedom Campaign · 09 October 2005

Filed under: Press Coverage


Dear Ms. Kronholz,

I am glad that WSJ is covering this controversy , and I hope you will pursue the issue even more deeply in future articles. As an independent scholar in U.S. history, I can tell you much about the hellishness of being at the mercy of an exclusively left-wing/social democratic faculty. I started in science and science education at Cornell and Harvard during the 1950s. Years later, after many years as a Pacifica Radio programmer, I went for my Ph.D. in history at UCLA and was appalled at the threats leveled against me, sometimes in public, sometimes in private, when I challenged, on rigorous intellectual grounds (i.e., empirical evidence as I had been trained in science), the ruling orthodoxies in my field.

Moreover, the humanities professors targeted by Horowitz's movement are very likely _shaping the emotions of their students through the historical narratives and/or authors that they promote; the consequence may be political apathy, or misdirected revolt and a predilection for conspiracy theories_. In other words, students are probably subject to severe sanctions when they dissent from the professor's line, and if they submit, they are, at best, wasting their time; at worst, imbibing self-destructive and socially-destructive academic nutriment.

It is my understanding that David Horowitz is arguing against indoctrination, whether it emanates from the Left or Right. I agree with him.

Clare Spark, Ph.D.

Author: _Hunting Captain Ahab: Psychological Warfare and the Melville Revival_ (Kent State UP, 2001)