Author: Nathan Harden
Narrator: Jack Hume
Publication Year: 2012
Pages: 320 (audio length: 10 hours 9 minutes)
Source: Audiobook version purchased from Audible.com
From the cover:
To glimpse America’s future, one needs to look no further than its college campuses. Of those institutions, none holds more clout than Yale University, the hallowed “cradle of presidents.” In Sex and God at Yale, recent graduate Nathan Harden undresses perversity among the Ivy and ideology gone wild as the upper echelon of academia is mired in nothing less than a full-fledged moral crisis.
Three generations ago, William F. Buckley’s classic God and Man at Yale, a critique of enforced liberalism at his alma mater, became a rallying cry of the conservative movement. Today Harden reveals how a loss of purpose, borne of extreme agendas and single-minded political correctness shielded under labels of “academic freedom,” subverts the goals of higher education.
Harden’s provocative narrative highlights the implications of the controversial Sex Week on campus and the social elitism of the Yale “naked party” phenomenon. Going beyond mere sexual expose, Sex and God at Yale pulls the sheets off of institutional licentiousness and examines how his alma mater got to a point where:
- During “Sex Week” at Yale, porn producers were allowed onto campus property to give demonstrations on sexual technique — and give out samples of their products.
- An art student received departmental approval — before the ensuing media attention alerted the public and Yale alumni — for an art project in which she claimed to have used the blood and tissue from repeated self-induced miscarriages.
- The university became the subject of a federal investigation for allegedly creating a hostile environment for women.
Much more than this, Harden examines the inherent contradictions in the partisan politicizing of higher education. What does it say when Yale seeks to distance itself from its Divinity School roots while at the same time it hires a Muslim imam with no academic credentials to instruct students? When the same school that would not allow ROTC on its campus for decades invites a former Taliban spokesperson to study at the university? Or employs a professor who praised Hamas terrorists?
As Harden asks: What sort of moral leadership can we expect from Yale’s presidents and CEOs of tomorrow? Will the so-called “abortion artist” be leading the National Endowment for the Arts in twenty years? Will a future president be practicing moves he or she learned during Sex Week in the closet of the Oval Office? If tyrants tell little girls they aren’t allowed to go to school, will an Ivy-educated Taliban emissary be the one to deliver the message?
Sex and God at Yale is required reading for the parent of any college-bound student — and for anyone concerned about the direction of higher education in America and the implications it has for young students today and the leaders of tomorrow.
I wish I had just read the (freaking gigantic!) blurb instead of the actual book.
Almost immediately, Harden comes across as a crusty, grumpy, prejudiced arsehole. Within about a chapter or two, I wished that I hadn’t picked up the book. Or that it wasn’t for the Audies so that it could’ve been a paper book and I could’ve thrown it across the room.
Sex and God at Yale purports to be a book about how we’ve gone too far in the direction of liberalism, and claims to be doing so from a secular point of view, but it doesn’t. Harden actually claims at one point that from an unbiased, non-religious point of view, we still need to have some kind of a moral framework, and he argues that we should use Christian morals for this as they are – in his words, not mine – “universal”. I wanted to reach through the audiobook and grab him by the collar and point out that just because Christianity is a world religion, and predominant in the United States, does not mean that it is truly universal.
Beyond that, the historical examples of things that were given in the book were interesting to learn about, but it was hard to look past Harden’s obvious prejudice and personal beliefs to really find them to be plausible argument against his obvious enemy, “political correctness” and the left.
As for the audiobook version – the narrator was good, I was just too distracted by the atrocious content of the book to take much notice of him.
Honestly, avoid Sex and God at Yale at all costs.
Tags: armchair audies, audiobooks, jack hume, nathan harden, published:2012, rating: never read it, read:2013