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ERIC Number: EJ853589
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0895-4852
Presentation: For Challenging the Political Pilgrims
London, Herbert
Academic Questions, v16 n4 p41-43 Sep 2003
This article presents the author's opening remarks during the tenth national convention of the National Association of Scholars (NAS) wherein he conferred Paul Hollander, a distinguished scholar of sociology and a prolific author, the Peter Shaw Award. More than any other scholar, Hollander offered documentation of a condition observed on campus. The political pilgrims had come home as tenured professors and their beliefs metastasized across the body of higher education. In ways Hollander cannot possibly fathom, he and his powerful book, "Political Pilgrims: Western Intellectuals in Search of the Good Society," served as a catalyst for the NAS. Inspired by his example, the organizers of NAS sought to decry the subjectivists and the romance that accompanied a reflexive faith in revolutionary regimes. Those in the NAS recognized that criticism of the West was necessary and welcome, but it had to be based on evidence, not hearsay. They recognized as well that true believers are often polemicists who seek only what confirms their assumptions. Just as political pilgrims are blind to the flaws in revolutionary states, their counterparts in the academy are emotional purveyors of knowledge, who filter all information through an ideological prism. Recently reprinted with a new introduction, the fourth edition of "Political Pilgrims" not only reminds what one must be vigilant against, it is above all a model of impeccably careful scholarship and sound judgment. Hollander's book deserves to be remembered as a compass that has guided NAS. It has helped establish the bearings for NAS' humble efforts to elevate canons of objective scholarship from the debasement they have suffered at the hands of naive true believers caught up in pursuit of any number of impossible dreams.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A