Some rants… and Beyond Chutzpah

nf_book_chutzpah.jpgWhile I was on the university campus the other day I thought I would drop by the library and check out a book or two. I decided to take a look at Norman Finkelstein’s latest book, Beyond Chutzpah. The book was available, but I was told I could not take it out of the library because student accounts are deactivated after the semester is over. I was annoyed; what a stupid system! So payments are not due until the beginning of March (semester starts tomorrow!), does that mean that students can’t take out books until they make their payments??? Yes, this is the way this country actually works, are you surprised that it has gone nowhere? I certainly am not. Far from it, I am amused at the stupidity of this “rule”. What rules, there are rules in this country? In a country that has few traffic lights (merely to serve as samples), few roads / highways that have properly-marked LANES (and where available virtually no one drives within them)? A country that does not teach its youth the importance and value of deadlines. You have universities that do not respect their own deadlines (I am not yet enrolled because the grades are not out even though they were supposed to be!) and reward their students for violating them, violate their own written and published rules, and then expect what exactly from you? Good grades to proceed with your studies? Or is that condition waived too once they see those dollars? Presidents of universities that have a board of trustees based in New York, who do not respond to a letter of complaint! A country? This is a country? What a country! And I’m supposed to be doing research as a graduate student, how am I supposed to do that when I am not allowed to take books out, yes, even during the goddamn vacation! Anyway, to get back to the topic, I looked at the book for a while, I made a personal copy of the first few chapters to read it at home. I am not sure if I like this book. The contents are too straightforward, there is very little creative analysis, although some really good points and criticisms of Alan Dershowitz are made (and then again, if you read Norman Finkelstein’s website regularly you would already know that, so it would sound repetitive). This book has none of the charisma of, for example, Noam Chomsky’s The Fateful Triangle or Avi Shlaim’s (despite some historical errors) The Iron Wall. But I do not like to rule out a book until I have read it completely, so an exhaustive review would have to wait for a month or so. By the way, you can check out Dr. Finkelstein’s website here; it has some interesting contents and many debates you can listen to and download (I recommend the one with Dershowitz).


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