November 28, 2007

Harvard Hacks

Here's a fun article from 02381 called "A Million Little Writers" by Jacob Hale Russell on how many famous Harvard professors, such as longtime iSteve favorites Alan Dershowitz, Henry Louis Gates, and Roland Fryer, are more brand names and impresarios than they are the actual authors of the stuff churned out under their names. Much of the material in the 12 books Dershowitz has published in this decade, for instance, was scraped together by young people paid $11.50 per hour (one of whom was a high school student).


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting article. But the following author's comment is worth a response:

"For better or worse, Gates’ career, and the huge rewards that he has reaped from it, send the message to young scholars that scholarship is not an end in itself but a means to an end—to easier work, better-paying gigs, greater mainstream acclaim."

The truth of the matter is that most non-scientific "scholarship" is worthless crap. Most work being done in the humanities and social sciences is utterly trivial. So, frankly, I see nothing disreputable about academics who seek greater leisure, money, and prestige. The notion that they should be devoting their lives to "scholarship" is ridiculous. Indeed, it is precisely what passes for "scholarship" these days that is the scandal.

David said...

I have a feeling we commenters are all going to end up as unwitting ateliers to Steve, when he writes his book. (Steve, just make it an anthology and slap the title "Forbidden Thoughts" on. That'll do. You could be in print in a year.)

red wine said...

Sorry, Steve, but "Harvard Hacks" won't compute with everyday Americans. It must be galling to know that the Crimson is riding higher than ever. We are taking over!

The iconic New Harvard Man, Alan Dershowitz, will be held up as exemplar of the Jewish Century in America. The dumb WASP culture was supplanted by the dynamic industry of elevated minds. De-Christianized modern and progressive: That is the Vastly Improved America. Finally we have leadership with real intellectual firepower.

America's finest days are ahead now that the dim bulb WASP elite has been deconstructed. Good riddance! Now the sky really is the limit. We will create our own reality and we will be ALL the better for it. ALL because instead of the nativist, xenophobic and exclusive 19th century America, the modern multicultural America will be global, tolerant and inclusive. The ethnic transformation of Harvard was an essential step in our national transformation.

Sailer and his ilk can't lay a glove on the Harvard reputation no matter how hard they try. Look at FACEBOOK!!! It's New Harvard genius on display and it's just a tad more popular than isteve.com.

Charles Johnson said...

Dear Steve,

Big fan, but I'm the high school student you mentioned. Seriously.

Here's the response I sent to 02138.

I am the “long-serving high school student” that served as one of Professor Alan M. Dershowitz’s Research Assistant. (Jacob Hale Russell, 02138, November-December 2007, Page 78)
I would like to address several mischaracterizations that Mr. Russell’s source used when describing Professor Dershowitz’s hiring and research process.
I met Professor Alan Dershowitz when he came to speak at the elite prep school, Milton Academy’s Seminar Day. In the opening address, I was randomly selected to debate him on topics ranging from racial profiling, the use of torture, and preemptive war. Though I had never met Professor Dershowitz before, I had read a few of his books and held my own in the debate. Recognizing that my own conservative views were at odds with his, he hired me and I worked for him on dozens of op-eds and several books. I am credited in every book.
Contrary to the picture presented in 02138, Professor Dershowitz not only welcomed academic disagreements, he reveled in them. Indeed I challenged him on dozens of issues – judicial review, torture, the role of Christianity in America, and the nature of “substantive” due process. These debates weren’t the province of normal high school students, but neither is Professor Dershowitz a normal professor. He is an excellent professor who welcomes heated disagreements.
But on the topic of Professor Dershowitz’s intellectual rigor, there can be no debate. He reads dozens of books per week, examines every source with strict candor, and catches his R.A.’s errors. Always one step ahead of every R.A. in his office, he recalls article he’s read decades ago. Hardly the picture of a professor who “farms” out research.
On a final, lesser point, his hand-written manuscripts sit in the office – not because he is wary of baseless plagiarism charges – but because he can’t type. Having spent hours deciphering his penmanship, I often wish he knew how!

--Charles Johnson

Anonymous said...

Twist ending to this comment thread!

RKU said...

This Alan Dershowitz is truly an absolute genius and Renaissance Man!

As his own former employee attests, "He reads dozens of books per week" and also "examines every source with strict candor."

Given that he apparently reads a MINIMUM of 3-4 books per day, seven days a week, one wonders how he also finds time to singlehandedly "write" so many books and op-eds, plus filling the role of a "public intellectual" by campaigning to suppress publication of books critical of his scholarly work and lobby against tenure to their academic authors.

But don't dare raise these questions, since they're obviously "anti-Semitic"---and Dershowitz might have you tortured for even mentioning them.

SFG said...

But don't dare raise these questions, since they're obviously "anti-Semitic"---and Dershowitz might have you tortured for even mentioning them.
Oh please! It's not anti-Semitic to call one Jewish guy a thief, and even Dershowitz probably wouldn't try to go after you on that one.

The article's also about Henry Louis Gates, and he's black.

Anonymous said...

Roland Fryer is thirty years old and just got tenure at Harvard. His chief talent is providing political cover for white guys who want to write papers about race: having him as a co-author keeps you safe.

He's more of a prodigy than a hack at this point though.