Brooklyn College Furor Is More Heated Online

Historians in the News

Reading about it online, you would think that the controversy over this year’s assigned reading for students new to Brooklyn College would have led to fevered student and faculty protests by now, making the campus the latest to be roiled by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But so far at least, the furor over the book — “How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America,” by Moustafa Bayoumi, an associate English professor at Brooklyn College – is unfolding a bit like the debate over the planned Islamic community center in downtown Manhattan: much of the intensity seems far afield, while the response in the neighborhood itself is more muted....

On Tuesday, The Daily News published an interview with Mr. Kesler. On Wednesday, The New York Post published an op-ed by Ronald Radosh, a professor emeritus of history at City University of New York, who wrote that the decision to bequeath this one book to all new students was an effort to “force-feed them one point of view, without even a pretense of providing a conflicting assessment.”

Jonathan Helfand, a professor of Jewish history at Brooklyn College, said he had voiced similar concerns to the college’s president, and in a letter that he circulated to friends and colleagues....

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