What’s summer without a summer reading controversy?

“Can a peaceable literary vegetarian from Brooklyn bring together what a bloody Southern basketball rivalry has torn asunder? That was surely the hope of administrators at Duke and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, when they chose Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘Eating Animals’ as the joint summer reading for this fall’s incoming freshmen.

“So far, the carnivore-unfriendly choice does not seem to have elicited any complaints from the local barbecue industry, though the state’s educators have courted controversy before. In 2002, conservative pundits and state legislators howled when U.N.C. assigned Michael Sells’s ‘Approaching the Qur’an,’ calling it an insult to the memory of Sept. 11. In 2003, a student group called The Committee for a Better Carolina denounced that year’s choice, Barbara Ehrenreich’s ‘Nickel and Dimed,’ as a ‘classic Marxist rant’ and  ‘intellectual pornography with no redeeming characteristics.’ ”

— From yesterday’s New York Times Book Review 

The Times’ spelling of “U.N.C.” is uncommon these days (though not as uncommon as its spelling of “Nascar”).



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