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Education Reporter

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The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, Elizabeth Kantor, Regnery Publishing Co., 2006, $19.95.

Elizabeth Kantor, Ph.D., has written a fascinating tale about modern academics. Professors don't want to teach English literature the way it was written, but instead try to deconstruct it and remold it into Marxist liberal feminist ideology. That's a hopeless task because great English literature is explicitly Christian, conservative, and celebrates heroism, marriage, and masculine courage.

Dr. Kantor's entertaining analysis is enlivened by inset quotations telling precisely what the political professors don't want students to know. The professors don't want them to learn from the poem Beowulf that no civilization will survive without heroes to defend it, or from Chaucer that chivalry has contributed enormously to women's happiness, or from Shakespeare that there really is such a thing as human nature and some people make inherently destructive choices, or from John Milton that our intellectual freedoms are Christian in origin. The feminists don't want young people to learn from Jane Austen that it's reasonable for a woman to look to marriage for happiness.

English Literature in many universities is taught as a process to uncover the oppression that's supposed to define Western culture: the racism, the patriarchy, and the imperialism that are alleged to lurk beneath the surface of all Western writing by dead white males. The problem isn't only that English professors don't teach the great English literature, but that they try to pervert it into the thesis that Western civilization is the root of all evil. University English departments have come under the control of people who really hate our English and American heritage.

Western culture is treated as something students need to be liberated from, not something to appreciate, pass on, and preserve. Censored out of discussion are the facts that Western civilization has developed concepts that are unknown in most of the rest of the world: unparalleled freedom, self-government, freedom of speech, and respect for women.

There are so many magnificent books, novels, plays and poems written in the English language. It is so unfortunate that our high school and college students are not introduced to the beauty and inspiration of this literature. Dr. Kantor's book is an introduction to what you should have learned in college but didn't. This politically incorrect guide will introduce you to the grand range of things you can learn from English literature, but probably won't in university courses.

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