Ncredibly foolish and proposes that liberal arts education is not only legitimate but humanizing It also takes to task some other elements of the modern educational system the college as a for profit institution the repetition and unoriginality of student protest and the hyper sensitivity of feminist and diversity programs on campus to name just a fewHere was the frustrating thing about the book these points are made via a fictitous East Coast college called Beet named after a pig I was tired of puns and jokes about pigs after page 15 or before but the jokes continued unabated until the very end I did find myself laughing aloud at several places in the book though never about the pig jokesThough there is inappropriate behavior described in the book it is
not described in detail or celebrated As I said at the described in detail or celebrated As I said at the this is a very light read maybe entertaining for an older generationNote This book has fermented well in my memory A year after reading this book I must say that I appreciate it now than I did when I wrote the review above After further reflection I think Rosenblatt has his finger on some concerning trends in higher education and this book depicts them in a memorable way Get rid of the pig stuff and I ll go for four stars A must read if one is experiencing academia or worse the tenure process Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcentercom I am the original author of this essay as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted here illegallyUgh yet another oddball comedy about obscure private colleges and the small towns they affect full of cardboard cutout characters so obvious and well worn by now you can practically stand them up and have them walk on their own Why again did I decide to read Roger Rosenblatt s Beet Oh yeah that s right because it actually received favorable mentions at several places I respect plus for such a cliched subject I admit that the premise has a few nice
"little uniue dark "uniue dark such as the college in uestion actually being founded by a high minded hog farmer back in Colonial times designed originally to be another member of the then forming Ivy League but very uickly developing a reputation much shadier than Harvard and Yale and the like Too bad then that Rosenblatt peoples this environment with cartoon characters so buffoonishly obvious he might as well have pulled them straight out of The Big Book of Go To Characters for Witty uirky Novels Concerning the Academic Life I only made it about a third of the way through to tell you the truth before uickly reaching my fill of shrill passive aggressive politically correct liberals and the wide eyed reverse racist 19 year olds who love them one day I will find my Great American College Novel but unfortunately today is not the dayOut of 10 48. Ncocting useless trendy courses to do anything about it Not to mention that American higher education is going down the tubes one less lesser school isn’t going to matter So why is Professor Peace Porterfield trying to save Beet Beats us“Rosenblatt applies his sharp wit to elite education” Wall Street Journ. .
Beet College is the most liberal of liberal arts colleges in New England Offering courses in disciplines such as Wiccan History Homeland Security and Native American Crafts Casino Studies Beet strives to attract any and all students But when the college s endowment disappears the higher ups at Beet seem resigned to closing the uirky school In an attempt to look as though they care they assign earnest literature professor Peace Porterfield to turn the curriculum around Of course they don t really expect him to do soCrazy campus hijinks and academic absurdity abound in this novel Unfortunately the author tries too hard Not as funny as David Lodge or Richard Russo Subtle I think is not in Rosenblatt s vocabulary3808 I could not decide if I hated this book because it was crazy or loved it for the same reason But I decided how could I not like a book with a character named Martha Stewart Polite who dropped the r in her name to become Matha but who still had the irrestible urge to make peach pie while trying to pass herself off as a campus radical at Beet College And then there was Arthur Horowitz a Jewish student who changed his name to Akim bin Laden grew a beard lived in a cave and was researching how to be a suicide bomber while majoring in On line Homeland Security Unfortunately he was always getting icked out of mosues because he could never remember the right direction for Mecca when it was time for prayers The campus mascot
Was A Pig Whoa pig who roamed the campus because the founder of the college had made his fortune by pig farming The college library was named Bacon Library after Francis Bacon of course and pigs in a blanket was a regular item in the
college cafeteria The book is a short read only 225 pages but containedcafeteria The book is a short read only 225 pages but contained words that I have never seen before The first 20 or so pages produced the following synedoche catechresis cherse jacitations autarkies and others I have not spent this much timne with a dictionary in ages Was the author trying to make a point since much of the plot was about the usefulness of higher education It was a crazy book a break from things too serious I first heard of this book when Roger Rosenblatt did an interview on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and then I read it with some other folks from my program I think that I enjoyed it than my fellow readers One of the reasons that they didn t like it is because it s extremely hyperbolic Through that exaggeration however Rosenblatt warns of a level of detachment from reality that liberal arts colleges could reach It made me laugh out loud A lot At times it reminded of my own undergrad experience A funny laugh out loud satire about higher education that you ll love if you like Roger s less than politically correct approach He writes fast and furious and uses words that you ll have to stop. Roger Rosenblatt’s dazzling comic gifts are on enviable displayBeet will settle the issue is Roger Rosenblatt our most audacious comic visionaryor our most audacious visionary comic” Joyce Carol OatesBeet College is doomedand nobody really cares The Board of Trustees led by developer Joel Bollovate has suande. .
And look upat least I did I highly recommend itespecially to those who have been in education I saw him in person and his personality is just as relaxed and outrageous as his characters I heard once that the books you read reflect what is occurring in the world around you and sometimes where you are in life I just finished Beet which was centered on a corrupt University Board member that was stealing school funds selling valuable items tha Not as funny as Lapham Rising but it s still completely a Rosenblatt yarn so still enjoyable for those who like his stuff The novel s saving grace comes at almost its exact midpoint chapter 9 when Professor Peace Porterfield waxes poetic in his poetry classroom ah sweet irony The real reason I love this chapter is because this IS Rosenblatt in a classroom teaching He did the closing the door assignment in a workshop I took or at
LEAST TALKED ABOUT IT IT WAS FOUR YEARS AGOtalked about it it was four years ago my memory is cheating me at the moment and now he s basically giving it to any teacherprofessor who reads this novel Which is the sort of thing a good college professor such as the one he created in Porterfield would doI originally thought that the collegiate setting would have been of interest to me as I one day would like to be a tenured college professor despite the antagonism of today s economy being completely against me at the moment but alas reading about Long Island somehow seemed interesting in Lapham Rising And I don t even live thereBut then again I like Porterfield so much I practically aspire to be that professor myself that I couldn t help but eep reading if only to see if he could save the college and if he did if he would bother to stay there in the end The college politics I READ ABOUT SCARED ME SIMPLY read about scared me simply the novel exaggerates them doesn t mean they don t exist but I love reading and teaching literature so much that even the reality of those politics makes me hope that they at least won t get any worse At least we can laugh about it So why is Professor Porterfield trying to save Beet College Located in the gray dour New England town of Beet this grand institution offers a liberal arts education to 1800 privileged young men and women and a haven from the real world for its 141 faculty members including a decidedly dull dither of deans No the whole gang students profs and administrators didn t uite make it to Yale or Dartmouth but Beet has a certain charmRoger Rosenblatt a contributor to Time and PBS takes a marvelous comedic turn with this gem It s laugh out loud It s a page turner You ll learn a few new words eg bricolage I liked it even because my son attends Beet er uh I mean Allegheny College Fly through this novel to learn if Beet goes on This is a very light read Essentially the book makes modern collegiate educational trends look Red the endowment Debutante cum self styled poet Matha Polite an indiscriminate radical with a four student following wants to bring the institution down Sweet tempered terrorist hopeful Akim Ben Ladin né Arthur Horowitz sits in his off campus cave and dreams about blowing Beet up Faculty members are too busy co.