More Unscholarly Summer Reading Choices

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hit a public-relations goldmine last year with its Summer Reading Program controversy. The PR-savvy officials at the public institution recognized at the time that they had hit upon a good formula. Little wonder why the program’s in the news again this summer.

Another Dud for UNC’s Summer Reading Program

Last year, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s summer reading program managed to stir up controversy and even litigation by choosing Michael Sells’ book Approaching the Qur’an as the book incoming freshmen were expected to read. The problem with that book, which overlooks Islam’s propensities toward intolerance and violence, was not that it was promoting religion, but that it was a waste of the students’ time. This year’s choice is no better, and arguably it’s worse. Incoming freshmen are assigned to read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.