PUBLIUS SPECIAL GUEST:Scott A. Shay, author of the new book, Conspiracy U: A Case Study. Shay is a co-founder and chairman of Signature Bank. His essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, Bloomberg, The Hill, Jewish Week, American Banker, Forward, and many other publications.
Conspiracy U exposes how conspiracy theories drawn from far-right and far-left ideologies masquerade as scholarship at many universities, endangering our norms and conceptions of morality and truth.
In Conspiracy U, Shay presents a case study of his alma mater, Northwestern University, in order to challenge the proliferation of anti-Zionist conspiracy theories championed on college campuses by both the far right and far left.
Shay tackles the thorny question of how otherwise brilliant minds willingly come to embrace and espouse such patent falsehoods. He explains why Zionism, the movement for Jewish national self-determination, has become the focal point for both far-right and far-left conspiracy theories. His keen analysis reveals why Jews serve as the canary in the coal mine.
Conspiracy U delivers an urgent wake-up call for everyone who cares about the future of civil society and is concerned that universities today are failing at teaching students how to strive for truth but rather guiding students to blindly trust theories driven by ideology. The book provides a roadmap for reform based on universal moral and intellectual standards and offers a way out of the culture wars that are ripping America apart.
BIO:Scott A. Shay is the author of In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism (a Mosaic Authors’ Best Book of 2018 and a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award) and Getting our Groove Back: How to Energize American Jewry. He is a co-founder and chairman of Signature Bank. His essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, Bloomberg, The Hill, Jewish Week, American Banker, Forward, and many other publications. Shay has been thinking about universities ever since he became the first person on either side of his family to attend one.