Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Rape of Alma Mater - Book Review

It isn't often that a work of fiction can make me sit up and take notice. In the case of Wells Earl Draughon's "The Rape of Alma Mater" I have sat up and I feel like I have been sleeping throughout my entire life. The book is a must read for anyone who has concern for society's education, freedoms of speech and press and the ability to think for oneself. Of course this is a work of fiction, but it is written on the experience of the author as a graduate student during the timeframe of the book, as a demonstrator, and as a college faculty member.

In 1967 male students feared for their lives and enrolled in college to avoid the draft. The Vietnam War deeply affected the entire populace as students became increasingly concerned over how much say they had in their own futures. So they began to protest. They tasted power. This was democracy, wasn't it? The people have spoken. However, when the war ended and there no longer was a major cause for banding together and making change, they invented reasons to stand and protest. What resulted was a complete rape of the education system and eventually the press that covered it, the government that allowed it to happen for fear of not getting re-elected, and society as a whole.

Draughon's characters are so real that I feel as if I know them. Their inner turmoil is deep and torturous. Their maturation is obvious and satisfying as we follow 35 years of their lives. Through this time period we watch as things get so out of hand that even the original protestors are hoodwinked by their own propaganda. The plot flows so swiftly and surely as the reader becomes caught up in its waves and is quickly carried to the end of the book where one will sit thoughtfully for hopefully a good long while.

This book is highly recommended for those who ever wondered how things came to be in today's society, but even more so for those who never thought about it.

The Rape of Alma Mater

By Wells Earl Draughon

ISBN-10: 0595332498

Review by Heather Froeschl

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