Professor Kirstein Responds to David Horowitz’s Response to My Response to The Professors: 101 Most Dangerous Academics: Part I

While I do appreciate Mr Horowitz's generally civil tone and his willingness to consider many of my points in my first critique of his latest book, that was mostly written by his staff and downloaded from a website,, I do think his assessment of my scholarship is inaccurate, distorted and frankly uncollegial. I also did my own writing and did not have staff personnel, teaching assistants or others doing my research for me. Apparently this man has merely consulted my website which contains only a brief résumé and very recent works. As I say below, I will not discourse further on this topic.

I published in The Historian which is a refereed journal. I published in the Journal of Mexican American History that was a refereed journal. Art in America is one of the leading journals in art criticism in the US and I published a major article on the glorification of atomic weapons in museum display across the US. American Diplomacy which is published online at the University of North Carolina is refereed. The article used National Archives Manhattan Project microfilm and is much longer than six standard typed written pages!! A journal does not have to be published on paper to be legitimate. This is the Internet age and one would think an editor of an online magazine would not be dismissive of any scholarly publication that is online. Situation Analysis at the University of Notthingham sent me a reader's commentary that was anonymous and published an article in 2004. The American Historical Review is the top journal in history and I reviewed a book for them. Only serious scholars in a field under review are invited. My monograph was well over 200 pages but the way it was typeset in a rather ungainly, large square shaped book, it reduced its size. Yet the quality of academic scholarship is what is paramounnt, not the length of a given work. I am curious if Mr Horowitz, who is a prolific author and with whom I am looking forward to debating the war and academic freedom, has any refereed articles in scholarly journals?

I also have published items ranging from articles, op-eds to letters in numerous other venues ranging from the New York Times, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, The Weekly Standard, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Arab News, Gulf News, Continuum, New Ground, History News Network, Biographical Dictionary of Modern Peace Leaders etc. I am under contract by ME Sharpe to write two articles on J. Robert Oppenheimer and Academic Freedom for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of the Culture Wars.

Mr Horowitz in his war against the academy includes such distinguished scholars as Cornel West, Angela Davis, and Lisa Anderson in this same category of non-deserving promoted professors. I appreciate the company and I think his effort to marginalise and distort the record of several of his subjects may undermine his efforts to be perceived as a reformer and a non-McCarthyite force of repression and misrepresentation through the power of the media. I also teach at a university with a four and four teaching schedule and having 220-230 students a year does place different burdens on a professor as opposed to one at a university which is research oriented.

If David Horowitz wishes to belittle me that is his option I suppose. One could argue, however, whether Mr Horowitz, who does not possess a Ph.D. and who has not held an academic appointment is indeed qualified to evaluate from afar an academician's scholarship and teaching. In fact there have been instances when Mr Horowitz's information on a teacher has been in error as was seen in his Pennsylvania State Legislature testimony.

Let's stick to the issues of war, peace, social justice, academic freedom and avoid these ad hominems on a professor's accomplishments. Let's stick to the main event and stop this sophomoric rage against individuals to advance a political agenda of war, intolerance and ethnocentrism. I will say no more and will not engage in further discussion on this topic. I am too busy to parry insults.

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