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Woke Culture on the Wane

Reader comment on item: Empire on the Seine

Submitted by Renox (United States), Oct 15, 2022 at 14:13

Before I take ink to pen and pen to hand, I make it a rule to do as much research as possible on my subject, particularly when writing about a living person. But professor Amit Prakash was a doozy (doozy: USA English slang.....(here)....a challenge). Wherever I might look, I could find nothing about him.....where he was born, went to school, current academic affiliations, highest degree conferred, publications etc.

True, there were what appeared to be dozens of his namesakes (people with the exact same name), but they were all living in India or in Silicon Valley (for some reason, many were dentists). But nary a one resembled, even remotely, "our" A. Prakash.

I'll make a long story short: a finally found him, alive and well, on YouTube, giving a speech on......what else.....police brutality. He appears to be a rather pleasant, unassuming chap, I must admit, but, of course, he's swallowed the "woke" Weltanschauung wholeheartedly....hook, line and sinker.

I think the person who introduced him to an online audience said that Prakash was a graduate of Oberlin College and Columbia University. But don't take my word for it – the speaker's voice was raspy and gnarled, especially towards the end where I believe she mentioned where he had gotten his higher education and degrees – mais j' pas sûr.

The book Dr. Pipes mentions in his review – Empire on the Seine - is 288 pgs long, hardly a blockbuster and hardly a justification for the $100 price listed on Amazon. It actually hasn't been published yet.....a few more weeks, apparently....so you might want to wait for a reduction in price.

This information I got from the Oxford University Press ((publisher of the book) website which also gives an Overview, Description, Table of Contents, Author Information and Reviews and Awards (two of the former, none of the latter). You can access the Oxford Univ. Press review at
:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/empire-on-the-seine-9780192898876?cc=us&lang=en&#

Even here though, the "Author Information" is very sparse on details beyond where he's working now and where he has taught in the past. Very oddly, there is no information on where he got his degrees.....at least the PhD.

I find that omission most peculiar. He's currently a "visiting Assistant Professor" at Middlebury College....just about the lowest rung in the professional hierarchy of academia as you can get. Only one position lower is a "Lecturer" of one sort or another which is a death knell for a professional career. It appears he's actually a non-tenured "assistant professor" making the rounds semester by semester or some such.

I will admit that I was utterly astonished when I heard him speak on his YouTube presentation. His English is 100% pure native USA accent, born and bred. This Dr. Prakash anyway is no "immigrant" just arrived from abroad. He's a native speaker of American English and is probably at least 2nd or most likely 3d generation US citizen.

The reason I'm so adamant on getting an author's background is because without the proper background, an author's writing is so superficial. I mean, take this guy A. Prakash as an example. All the information I've been able to obtain is that although he has an Indian name, it's doubtful he can speak his grandparent's tongue....that was lost long ago if he's 3d generation US citizen. It's also highly unlikely he knows French, although he's writing about France and even less likely that he can even utter an Arabic 'ayn, although he's writing about North Africa. And yet, that's his specialty. It just all rumbles of inauthenticity....it's all made up.....ultimately.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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