This book, even it's 1996 passages, could easily have been written in 2012 or 2013. Everyone points to people like Douglas Murray or Jonathan Haidt as examples of cultural critics ahead of their time, but Robert Bork (and Allan Bloom before him) were warning is in precise detail, what was to come, decades before Haidt or Murray were even graduate students. Bork mentions identity politics, post-modern academics, campus speech policing, and the wholesale adoption of homosexuality in mainstream culture, long before any of this was in anyone's radar. To his credit, his 2004 afterword walks back his defense of censorship, having seen how the left was abandoning its support for the first amendment for political gain, 10 years before anyone else.
It is true, that Bork's attempt at defending intelligent design in this book is weak to the point of silliness (based largely on a layman's reading of Michael Behe's "Darwin's Black Box), and it's also true that his original defense of censorship is largely based on provoking disgust in the reader, which is a profoundly weak way to make the case. But in both situations, the arguments were not essential to the case made in this book, and did not detract from it. What's more, his piercing, but accessible critiques of constitutional law as interpreted (or not) by the supreme court, reminded me of his work in The Tempting of America, and made reading the whole book well worth the effort.
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