The DIVERSITY DELUSION: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture

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By the national bestselling author of The War on Cops: a provocative account of the erosion of humanities and the rise of intolerance

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The Diversity Delusion does an admirable job of dismantling liberal academic narratives. And if anyone has earned the right to do that without looking back, it’s Heather Mac Donald.” —National Review

By Heather Mac Donald

America is in crisis, from the university to the workplace. Toxic ideas first spread by higher education have undermined humanistic values, fueled intolerance, and widened divisions in our larger culture. Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton? Oppressive. American history? Tyranny. Professors correcting grammar and spelling, or employers hiring by merit? Racist and sexist. Students emerge into the working world believing that human beings are defined by their skin color, gender, and sexual preference, and that oppression based on these characteristics is the American experience. Speech that challenges these campus orthodoxies is silenced with brute force.

The Diversity Delusion argues that the root of this problem is the belief in America’s endemic racism and sexism, a belief that has engendered a metastasizing diversity bureaucracy in society and academia. Diversity commissars denounce meritocratic standards as discriminatory, enforce hiring quotas, and teach students and adults alike to think of themselves as perpetual victims.

From #MeToo mania that blurs flirtations with criminal acts, to implicit bias and diversity compliance training that sees racism in every interaction, Heather Mac Donald argues that we are creating a nation of narrowed minds, primed for grievance, and that we are putting our competitive edge at risk.

But there is hope in the works of authors, composers, and artists who have long inspired the best in us. Compiling the author’s decades of research and writing on the subject, The Diversity Delusion calls for a return to the classical liberal pursuits of open-minded inquiry and expression, by which everyone can discover a common humanity.

Hardback, 288 pages.

Book Trailer

About the Author

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize. Mac Donald’s work at City Journal has canvassed a range of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing and “racial” profiling, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race relations. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and The New Criterion. Mac Donald’s newest book, The War on Cops (2016), warns that raced-based attacks on the criminal-justice system, from the White House on down, are eroding the authority of law and putting lives at risk.

Other previous works include The Burden of Bad Ideas (2001), a collection of Mac Donald’s City Journal essays, details the effects of the 1960s counterculture’s destructive march through America’s institutions. In The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan than Today’s (2007), coauthored with Victor Davis Hanson and Steven Malanga, she chronicles the effects of broken immigration laws and proposes a practical solution to securing the country’s porous borders. In Are Cops Racist? (2010), another City Journal anthology, Mac Donald investigates the workings of the police, the controversy over so-called racial profiling, and the anti-profiling lobby’s harmful effects on black Americans.

A nonpracticing lawyer, Mac Donald clerked for the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and was an attorney-advisor in the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a volunteer with the Natural Resources Defense Council. She has testified before numerous U.S. House and Senate Committees. In 1998, Mac Donald was appointed to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s task force on the City University of New York. In 2004, she received the Civilian Valor Award from the New Jersey State Law Enforcement Officers. In 2008, Mac Donald received the Integrity in Journalism Award from the New York State Shields, as well as the Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration from the Center for Immigration Studies. In 2012, she received the Quill & Badge Award for Excellence in Communication from the International Union of Police Associations.

A frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, and other TV and radio programs, Mac Donald holds a B.A. in English from Yale University, graduating with a Mellon Fellowship to Cambridge University, where she earned an M.A. in English and studied in Italy through a Clare College study grant. She holds a J.D. from Stanford University Law School.

Reviews

“I read every word Heather Mac Donald writes and always have. She is brilliant and has tons of guts and is an inspiration.” — Peggy Noonan, New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize Winner for Commentary

“Why should we care what happens in the Ivory Tower? Because what happens there very soon happens everywhere. Heather Mac Donald warns us: Attend to the ideology now dominating the humanities and social sciences. Designed to undermine the integrity of the individual and the state alike, it does just that. The universities have a mandate to produce informed, educated, productive citizens. They have been transformed, instead, into factories of ideology that mass-produce victims, certain in their oppression, searching everywhere for oppressors to blame and to punish. And the ranks of those deemed tyrants and persecutors threaten to swell until every single one of us is deemed guilty in some manner or another. Beware.” — Jordan B. Peterson, bestselling author of 12 Rules for Life

“Universities justify their privileged position by claiming to be forums for the promotion of clarity, logic, and evidence. Yet their own policies, affecting millions, are too often defended with factual howlers, logical non sequiturs and mindless boilerplate. Heather Mac Donald may not persuade you on every point, but with her spitfire writing and scorn for nonsense she is forcing universities to live up to their own principles.” — Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment Now

“Others besides Heather Mac Donald have indicted academia for devastating liberal education, but no one has ever documented the damage as Mac Donald does in The Diversity Delusion. It is crammed with facts and numbers that universities go to great lengths to hide. How she did it is a mystery, but The Diversity Delusion will be my master reference for anything I write on these topics.” — Charles Murray, Emeritus Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

“If there were any justice in the world, Mac Donald would be knee-deep in Pulitzer Prizes and National Magazine Awards for her pioneering work.” — David Brooks

“No journalist now writing about urban problems has produced a body of work matching that of Heather Mac Donald.” — George Will

“You need to know Heather Mac Donald. She’ll mess with your mind and make you either up your politico-cultural game or admit you were wrong.” — Debra J. Dickerson, Mother Jones

“Not since Alan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind has a book so thoroughly exposed the damage done to American institutions—particularly universities—by modern liberalism’s glib commitment to ‘diversity.’ Mac Donald unveils today’s true operating principle: that claims of social justice precede the diminishment of Western greatness—a greatness that has (and will continue to) benefit the former victims of Western bigotry. This book is a story of what happens when too much insecurity seeps into a great civilization.” — Shelby Steele, author of Shame, White Guilt, and The Content of Our Character

“A beautifully-written, hard-hitting expose of the madness—from gender wars to diversity mandates to attacks on speech and academic freedoms—hat has seized hold of the American campus, made education less liberal, and is now doing the same to our culture.” — Christina Hoff Sommers

Interviews With the Author

Additional information

Weight 50 oz