14 March 2007
I just wanted to write and say how much I admire your book disciplined minds.....although admire does not go far enough. I was absolutely bowled over.....I just kept underlining it and writing 'yes' and 'exactly' in the margins. I have never yet read a book that spoke my own experience so clearly or confirmed what i had long known.
I worked for eight years as a part time lecturer in a london university and I was constantly amazed at the lengths people who referred to themselves as leftwing would go in order to keep in with the right people. Coming from a working class background I had the rather romantic notion that universities would be full of people who were fighting the system. What I found was the system.....professionals.....who as long as they could get funding for the next conference or research leave were quite prepared to suck up to those above them and betray everyone else. In particular I remember one person who I quite liked not standing up to an obvious injustice because as he said "I've got my career to think of".....astounding I thought at the time but actually I realised that there were very few people who would have done otherwise or even more to the point perhaps very few people who would have condemned him for it.
I eventually left when I could stand it no longer. I have found fulfilling work and fantastic students teaching in my field outside of the university.
PS.....I found your book because it is referenced in Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media by David Edwards and David Cromwell (2006).