California Literary Review


Book Review: In the Basement of the Ivory Tower by Professor X


April 4th, 2011

X’s short 21 chapters of informal prose mix the personal-poignant and social-pathetic. They illuminate the pathology of a multi-billion-dollar purely-American enterprise: the community college network snaking through 50 States. Bloated with the goodwill of the ingrained national optimism, it expresses our mania for pieces of paper guaranteeing employable skills supposedly learned from hundreds of pages of sociopsychological babble, the ink-tracks of text in thick books laying out techniques of “administration” by the numbers.

No Right to Remain Silent: The Tragedy at Virginia Tech by Lucinda Roy


May 11th, 2009

After mailing a package of video files and documents to NBC, Cho left for Norris Hall at 9:45 a.m. and chained the entrances shut before opening fire in the halls and classrooms. For nine minutes he attacked faculty and students alike, finally committing suicide with a gunshot to his head.

Hanna Rosin Discusses God’s Harvard


October 9th, 2007

“Tensions often arise between secular teachings and Biblical beliefs. Many students are reading, say Kant and Nietzsche for the first time. They may be alarmed, but they also may find those writers intoxicating.”

Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf


September 26th, 2007

Reminding the reader that the likes of Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein were dyslexics, Wolf ponders whether we can explain the “preponderance of creativity and ‘thinking outside the box’ in many people with dyslexia?” Wolf’s rhetorical questions are tackled with grace and one always feels richer for having spent time with her.

The Future Without A Past: The Humanities In A Technological Society by John Paul Russo


May 27th, 2007

Weaver was referring, of course, to the media in all its forms and the pernicious effects that communication technology was having on our culture in 1948 when his book was published!

The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges — and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates by Daniel Golden


April 24th, 2007

Money dominates far greater a percentage of admissions than colleges—who are desperate to boost endowments to maintain rankings in national publications—like to admit, and that drive for money results in admissions preferences for legacy alumni and students of wealthier parents.

Orchestras, Oboes and Orgies


April 3rd, 2007

“I was honest about my own behavior and that of others, yet stopped short of revealing 95 percent of the worst in our business. The nature of memoir is that of truth; only real people can illustrate real stories. However, a measure of effective journalism is its ability to instigate societal change, and only a picture based on truth can do that.”

Richard Lanham Discusses the “Attention Economy”


April 3rd, 2007

“All around us we see signs of this confusion. Americans are often called a “materialistic” people and we certainly are surrounded by material possessions and revel in them. But at the same time, the “real world” of physical location seems to be evaporating before our eyes.”

Archival Culture(s)


March 26th, 2007

It is scarcely news that in a vast, pluralistic country like the United States, minorities should feel themselves threatened with absorption into the larger society, and that they should cling to some form of cultural identity. It begins poignantly when school children pledge allegiance to “ … one nation, indivisible, with freedom and justice for […]

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