Freshman pre-college reading: Indoctrination 101

Students: Have you read a real book lately? (Image via Wikipedia)
Students: Have you read a real book lately? (Image via Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2014 – Book lovers and those who follow America’s fast-deteriorating higher education scene won’t be shocked to learn that a recent Young America’s Foundation (YAF) survey has scoured through those pernicious “required reading” programs sent out over the summer nationwide to incoming university freshmen.

These reading lists ostensibly prepare new students for the rigors of a college education. But “indoctrination” might be more like it. High school graduates have already been through the lefty brain mill, but these reading lists are meant to keep them on track before the real brainwashing begins.

YAF’s new survey “found that, over the past three years, none of the colleges [in the survey] have assigned a conservative-leaning book.” We’re shocked. Shocked.

So, obviously, were the writers in “The College Fix,” an insightful, right-leaning blog site by and for open-minded students run by the Student Press Association.

Unsurprisingly, the survey “found that many of the ‘required’ books only offered left-wing perspectives on topics such as race, feminism, socialism, inequality, and wealth redistribution.”

The article in College Fix notes a few of the more popular titles, and we add our comments to theirs below in italics:

Americanah by Chimamanda Nogzi Adichie (required at Duke University and Pomona College in 2014) This is a fictional story of a young Nigerian woman and man who immigrate to the United States. Throughout the book, the author delves heavily into concepts of race. Yet, at the same time, she criticizes everyone but the protagonists for their prejudices. Comment: Race is a key element that’s been used in the left’s transformation of Marxist class struggle into a perpetual 21st century race struggle in the U.S. The objective, as always, is to create grievance instead of agreement, and the lefties are keeping it up by assigning volumes like this one.


The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert (required at Lafayette College in 2014) This book argues that humanity is causing a sixth mass extinction due to global warming and advocates environmental sustainability. Comment: Though they rarely admit it in public, the radical environmentalists who’ve already brought you more expensive energy, more expensive lighting, more expensive cars and less jobs are Malthusian addicts who believe the greatest cancer growing on this planet is us. (Not them, of course.) Since it’s not currently a fashionable idea to wage mass murder on the Great Unwashed, the next best thing is to create economic conditions so onerous that the residents of flyover country will find it hard enough to eat let alone reproduce. Hence, the global warming, income redistribution hoax that shows no sign of abating in spite of the fact that it’s actually been revealed as a hoax.


Home by Toni Morrison (required at UNC Chapel Hill 2013) The novel delves into the life of a man trying to find his way home in segregated America. It is filled with many leftist themes including identity and post-traumatic stress associated with race. Comment: See the first title above.


Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (required at Wellesley College 2013 and Vanderbilt University 2012) This book describes the “injustice” that women from around the world experience and what you, as a reader, can do to stop it. It discusses the need for liberal humanists to reach out to conservative evangelicals and join forces in embracing multicultural concepts. Comment: The alleged aim cited above, re: “reaching out” to conservative evangelicals must almost intentionally be meant as an inside joke. What it really means is that lefty educationalists must redouble their efforts to re-program newly enrolled conservative evangelical freshmen to their cause, subverting 17-18 years of parental and church efforts to the contrary. One thing the left has always sported in abundance is cynicism. The left never “reaches out.” They only indoctrinate. God keeps them from doing that, so he needs to be programmed out.


Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer (required at Duke University 2011) A book delving into the modern food industry, mass production, and vegetarian world. This book also goes into some anti-free market concepts. Comment: The left today is so arrogant that they imagine they can bend biology to their collective will. Homo sapiens was designed as an omnivore, and tends to thrive best in a protein-rich environment which can’t always be provided via a vegetarian diet, eco-fanatics and animal “rights” fanatics to the contrary. This nonsense once again ties in with the Malthusian meme mentioned above. Further, why don’t you try asking a hungry lion to respect your “animal rights” if he catches up to you on an African plain. The whole concept behind this nonsense is theater of the absurd.

College Fix correctly observes that when universities assign such idiocy as required reading, “behavior modification is the goal. The way students view the world, the way they vote, leftists strive to shape that from the minute students arrive on campus, and as Young America’s Foundation points out, even before they do through these freshmen summer reading programs.”

Parents and students alike might want to seriously consider foregoing the intellectual insult—not to mention the fiscal one—of attending such colleges and learning such useless claptrap. Soon enough, “education” like this will leave them all in a serious debt trap, while the lack of productive and useful subject matter encounters—not to mention balanced ones—will leave the students themselves unsuitable for employment in nearly every area.

Why don’t college simply go back to the good old idea of suggesting their incoming freshmen peruse American literary classics penned by authors like Mark Twain, Scott Fitzgerald and Earnest Hemingway? Or poetry by that American original, Emily Dickinson?

Yeah. We all know why.

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  • JWPicht

    We don’t have a required summer reading list, as far as I know, at my college, but we do put online the list of books that freshmen will be reading in their classes and encourage them to get started on them. For a class I’ll be teaching this fall, the list includes the Iliad, the Aeneid, Oresteia, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and The Republic.

    I’d say that we don’t assign political texts, though my colleagues in English assure me that all texts are political, designed to support or upend existing power structures. I think that reading Homer is likely to make you a better person, and learning calculus will help teach you to think, and I guess there are political ends to both of those. But if everything is political (not a premise I accept, but I’ve been in academia long enough to play the game), I’d at least like the stuff we make kids read to be well-written, not the tendentious, badly-written polemic of some summer reading lists.

  • Tagg Heurer

    More dangerous than merit-based rewards is the notion of “distributive justice” that requires each of us be subjected to centralized control

  • G26

    By attacking private property, collectivism redirects aggression outward and furthers modern systems of plunder, serfdom, and injustice.

  • Jay Va

    The rarer the opportunity, the more precious that we have the liberty to see it and seize it, while the more serious the loss if we fail to recognize it and make the most of it.

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