Compelling New Book Investigates Anti-Zionist Conspiracy Theories in Academia

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    In a world of fake news and hype, what distinguishes theories from conspiracy theories? Do certain issues and rhetoric, such as anti-Zionism, receive a protected platform on university campuses around the United States? Is there an anti-Jewish bias in academia, and if so, does that create problems in other areas of society? Is there a universal standard by which theories and ideologies can be examined in the quest for truth? In his timely and powerful new book, Conspiracy U: A Case Study, author Scott Shay gives an in-depth analysis demonstrating that both his alma mater and academia, in general, have sacrificed academic integrity and trustworthy scholarship in favor of conspiracy theories.

    “To say something is a conspiracy theory should not be some general rhetorical charge,” explains Shay. “Rather, conspiracy theories have definable parameters. They claim to be explanations of political or social phenomena that are the result of a covert conspiracy by powerful and secret actors.”

    While writing a tribute to his father, a survivor of the Holocaust who educated him on the importance of faith and Jewish values, Shay was disturbed and dismayed to discover the presence of far-right and far-left anti-Zionist professors on the faculty of his alma mater, Northwestern University. As a student of Jewish thought, history, and current events, who has written extensively on contemporary Jewish issues, he was compelled to take a deep dive into the world of anti-Zionist conspiracy theories and academia.

    “I learned that Northwestern University, my beloved alma mater and a jewel of American academia, has enabled some of its professors to openly promote conspiracy theories,” says Shay. “Sadly, many academics can no longer even identify conspiracy theories. Professorial proponents insist that far from being conspiracy theorists, they are brave truth-tellers.”

    “Conspiracy U” is a devastating and clear-minded deep dive into the phenomenon of conspiracy theories…It’s a Masterclass in identifying and weeding out conspiracy theories wherever they exist.

    John Kelly, Detroit Free Press, 5-stars

    These two faculty members become a specific case study by which Shay examines the more general proliferation of anti-Zionist conspiracy theories. He precisely defines the differences between theories and conspiracy theories and shows how the views of Zionism held by these scholars fall into the latter category. He provides an overview of the political and historical lineage of anti-Zionist conspiracy theories, demonstrates how they are connected to currently popular academic theories such as decolonialism, and takes note of the central role they hold in political discourse on both the far-right and far-left. Shay describes how similar dynamics have gained ground in many American universities and how anti-Zionist conspiracy theories seep beyond academia into politics, educational policy, and the mainstream media, threatening the quest for truth and justice.

    “We are at a moment of our history when we as Americans as well as other people across the world are continuing on the path of progress with the intention of righting or at least mitigating some historical wrongs,” says Shay. “But our efforts risk being compromised by the resurgence of extreme ideologies that should have been placed in history’s dumpster.”

    “Conspiracy U is at once moving and maddening while inviting thinking and motivating action…

    This is a must-read not just for those interested in Israel but for anyone trying to

    understand the broad cross-currents that are buffeting society.”

    Mark Mellman, President, and CEO, Democratic Majority for Israel

    Set against the framework of Northwestern University’s motto, Conspiracy U not only illustrates the issues present when the serious and trustworthy scholarship is abandoned in favor of theory and ideology but proposes that the motto itself points toward a better option. Rather than dismissing ideology or giving it undue precedence, Shay suggests that the motto and the Golden Rule together form an unbiased and universally applicable framework that provides the intellectual and moral criteria to distinguish between facts and conspiracy theories, leaving room for diversity while also excluding approaches that devalue our common humanity.

    “Powerful, well researched, and documented, CONSPIRACY U is a call to action – we all should read, absorb and commit to the changes Shay suggests. Highly recommended.”

    Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame Top 50 Reviewer, 5-stars

    “We must engage with our fellow in the way that we would want to be engaged. Everything is on the table except for hatred,” encourages Shay. “To be able to engage and discern what is open to disagreement and what are patent lies, we need to employ critical thinking skills and cognitive flexibility. We need teachers who don’t have an agenda other than to teach their students to think.”

    Conspiracy U: A Case Study, 288 pgs, Wicked Son Publishing, October 2021, ISBN 1637580924 available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and quality independent bookstores.

    About Scott Shay: Scott A. Shay is a lead­ing busi­ness­man, thought leader and author of two widely read books. Scott is the co-founder and Chairman of Sig­na­ture Bank, well known as one of the best banks in New York for pri­vate busi­ness owners and as a leader in the emerging digital currency

    Mark Mellman, President, and CEO, Democratic Majority for Israel

    Set against the framework of Northwestern University’s motto, Conspiracy U not only illustrates the issues present when the serious and trustworthy scholarship is abandoned in favor of theory and ideology but proposes that the motto itself points toward a better option. Rather than dismissing ideology or giving it undue precedence, Shay suggests that the motto and the Golden Rule together form an unbiased and universally applicable framework that provides the intellectual and moral criteria to distinguish between facts and conspiracy theories, leaving room for diversity while also excluding approaches that devalue our common humanity.

    Powerful, well researched, and documented, CONSPIRACY U is a call to action we all should read, absorb and commit to the changes Shay suggests. Highly recommended.”

    Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame Top 50 Reviewer, 5-stars

    “We must engage with our fellow in the way that we would want to be engaged. Everything is on the table except for hatred,” encourages Shay. “To be able to engage and discern what is open to disagreement and what are patent lies, we need to employ critical thinking skills and cognitive flexibility. We need teachers who don’t have an agenda other than to teach their students to think.”

    Conspiracy U: A Case Study, 288 pgs, Wicked Son Publishing, October 2021, ISBN 1637580924 available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and quality independent bookstores.

    About Scott Shay: Scott A. Shay is a lead­ing busi­ness­man, thought leader and author of two widely read books. Scott is the co-founder and Chairman of Sig­na­ture Bank, well known as one of the best banks in New York for pri­vate busi­ness owners and as a leader in the emerging digital currency ecosystem.

    Scott earned a BA in Economics and a Masters in Management from Northwestern University, a valuable experience due to the commitment of his professors to high academic standards and the ideals of the university’s motto. He is a distinguished leader in the Jewish community and an avid student of religion and its application to the world outside of the synagogue, church, or mosque. These interests are reflected in Conspiracy U, as well as his previous two books, In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism and Getting Our Groove Back: How to Energize American Jewry. Scott lives in New York City, NY.

    Learn more about Scott and Conspiracy U: A Case Study at scottshay.com

     

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