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University of Washington Freshman provided "free" copy of ...

If you had to choose, of all the great works of literature, which book the University of Washington should provide at taxpayer expense to all entering freshman, would you choose:

  1. Moby Dick
  2. PT 109
  3. The Great Gatsby
  4. The Sun Also Rises
  5. The Grapes of Wrath
  6. Dreams of My Father

Did I have to ask? Yes. The University of Washington has chosen to take a dollar from the pockets of every one of the state's citizens to pay for 5,000 copies Dear Leader's book to re-educate the 18 year-old's attending the university this fall with his self indulgent pap. Help us all. It's called The Common Book.


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Comments (26)

Obamao's little red book.</... (Below threshold)
davidt:

Obamao's little red book.

First, go to www.amazon.com... (Below threshold)
Codekeyguy Author Profile Page:

First, go to www.amazon.com and look for "The little blue book of the sayings of Obama". Five Bucks.
Second, what happens if the student trashes the book as poorly written, etc. Will he be sent to the local junior college, as he obviously doesn't belong with the elites at UW?

It was written by a Keynan,... (Below threshold)
WorldCitizen:

It was written by a Keynan, Muslim, Communist. I wouldn't read it either. And suggesting that PT 109 written by a Kennedy elitist as a alternative frankly offends me.

A sugarcoated Mein Kamf.</p... (Below threshold)
914:

A sugarcoated Mein Kamf.

Dreams of My Father and Her... (Below threshold)

Dreams of My Father and Herman Melville:

One is a tale of one man's obsession and the other is Moby Dick!

Good lining for bird cages.... (Below threshold)
mag:

Good lining for bird cages.

This does not surprise me. ... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

This does not surprise me. The UW faculty is very much on the left side of the political spectrum and makes no pretense about it.

"It was written by a Keynan... (Below threshold)
jim:

"It was written by a Keynan, Muslim, Communist."

No, Obama actually wrote it.

But I'm impressed at your ability to squeeze 3 provably wrong statements into an 8-word sentence.

My wife went ballistic when... (Below threshold)

My wife went ballistic when she saw the book in my son's orientation bag from the UW, where he'll be a freshman this fall. She's writing the provost, dean, faculty advisers, and anyone connected with "The Common Book".

I'm sure the book might pro... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm sure the book might prove useful. Given the school's leftist tilt, it might come in handy leveling a table.

Or if they want to be like ... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

Or if they want to be like Cuba they can use it while waiting for Bath Tissue to come in.

Dreams from My Father was c... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant Democrat:

Dreams from My Father was chosen from more than 40 nominated titles by an eighteen-member selection committee of students, faculty, and staff from across campus. Steve Oliver, assistant director of First Year Programs in Undergraduate Academic Affairs and Eugene Edgar, professor in the College of Education co-chaired the committee.
http://www.washington.edu/uaa/textpattern47/tp/features/17/fourth-common-book

Funny how that part has been omitted from the comments of the poster and those commenting.

Damn commie, fascist, muslim, anarchist, socialists. Each and every one. No kidding. Plus they want to be in unions, increase only wingnuts taxes, want free everything, hate Christians and are gay. Each and every single one of them. No kidding.

Charles wrote:"My ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Charles wrote:

"My wife went ballistic when she saw the book in my son's orientation bag from the UW, where he'll be a freshman this fall. She's writing the provost, dean, faculty advisers, and anyone connected with "The Common Book"."

Well, college is about critical reading, and I think that kids should learn to read and form their own opinions. Have you guys actually read the book?

I understand your position on this, and I do think that if GW Bush's memoirs were given the same honor, plenty of people on the other side of the aisle would be up in arms. No doubt about that.

The book choice was not politically very savvy, IMO. It is just asking for this kind of controversial reaction.

Still, I think that encouraging critical reading with kids is the way to go. The point is in teaching kids how to read through a set of ideas, then make their own decisions about them. THAT is what education is for. There is a lot out there in print and visual media, and kids really need to learn how to sift through it and make sense.

I am a big advocate of reading and considering opposing points of view, and what better time to learn to do it than college? If the book is a terrible example of unbalanced political indoctrination, then your kid will learn how to recognize that kind of media. If he completely disagrees with it, tell him to write an editorial in the school newspaper. Who knows, maybe your son will read it and like some aspects while completely disagreeing with others. You never know.

Kids should be able to learn how to discuss different points of view, IMO. Keeping them shielded from any and all possible sources of information that challenges their understandings of the world, well, to me that's not education. And this applies to both sides, not just one.

So, while I understand your position on this, I would turn it into something that your son can learn from. Read the book, evaluate what it says, talk about your political take on the matter, and then see what your son comes up with. And you can always balance it out with a little reading on Reagan or good old Milt Friedman.

"The book choice was not po... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"The book choice was not politically very savvy, IMO."

Hmmmmm....just like those "suggested activities" around the President's speech to school children. You'll have to pardon the 'indoctrinators', I'm sorry, 'educators'. They sometimes let their enthusiasm run away. Then get all huffy and upset when called on it. After all, they are of the elite intelligentsia and are not accustomed to being questioned by their inferiors.

GarandFan:"After a... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

GarandFan:

"After all, they are of the elite intelligentsia and are not accustomed to being questioned by their inferiors."

Well, they should all be questioned, all the time. To me, that's the point of education. It's not to simply accept everything, but instead to challenge it as well.

Still, I do not think that avoiding all opposing views (in literature, films, whatever) is the key to forming political and social opinions. The best way to derail an opposing POV is to know its strengths and weaknesses inside and out.

MOBY DICK bothers the idiot... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

MOBY DICK bothers the idiots from GREENPEACE

"Well, they should all be q... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Well, they should all be questioned, all the time. To me, that's the point of education. It's not to simply accept everything, but instead to challenge it as well."

Unfortunately for college people today, to 'challenge' a leftist instruction is to be deemed 'subversive' or 'a trouble maker'. You get tossed from the class, or fail.

"Well, they should all be q... (Below threshold)
Sues:

"Well, they should all be questioned, all the time. To me, that's the point of education. It's not to simply accept everything, but instead to challenge it as well."

If the professors really believed this they would have chosen a conservative book-and given it a fair rap, rather than chose a liberal book they all pretty much agree with. They would have chosen to be sure that the "majority" (according to the libs), liberal students, were challenged.

But that's not what they did, is it....

Why is it that it is only conservatives that are mocked and told that they need to shut up and broaden their thinking?

Dreams from My Father wa... (Below threshold)

Dreams from My Father was chosen from more than 40 nominated titles by an eighteen-member selection committee of students, faculty, and staff from across campus.

And who mostly likely outnumbered conservatives 17-1.

You haven't been to Seattle, have you, SAUD.

Sues:"If the profe... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Sues:

"If the professors really believed this they would have chosen a conservative book-and given it a fair rap, rather than chose a liberal book they all pretty much agree with."

What book(s) would you recommend instead? Just wondering.

@GarandFan:

"Unfortunately for college people today, to 'challenge' a leftist instruction is to be deemed 'subversive' or 'a trouble maker'. You get tossed from the class, or fail."

Are you speaking from experience? Are you in college now?

PeterFI'm from the... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant Democrat:

PeterF

I'm from the Pac NW. And your point about conservatives being outnumbered? You're outnumbered everywhere. I wonder why?

SAUDM*"You're outn... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

SAUDM*

"You're outnumbered everywhere."

Care to backup your worthless, baseless opinion with a fact or two?

Didn't think so.


* The 'M' is for moron.

What book(s) would you r... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

What book(s) would you recommend instead? Just wondering.

Sweet Jesus, I can name several other pieces of American literature that tackle race and/or pieces of racial self discovery that blow 'Dreams' out of the water:

"To Kill a Mockingbird" (Good gravy, how many white liberals strapped with white guilt name their child Atticus? Must be countless...)

"The Color Purple"

"A Raisin' in the Sun" (Takes place in Chicago, no less...)

"Beloved" (Or anything by Toni Morrison....)

Nice choices Peter. Some g... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Nice choices Peter. Some good books.

Some all time classics but ... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

Some all time classics but nothing about A CHISTMAS CAROL thats also a good book

Did they properly credit Bi... (Below threshold)

Did they properly credit Bill Ayers as ghost writer yet?




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