Heaven On Earth


Salem on the Thames

Moral Panic, Anti-Zionism, and the Triumph of Hate Speech at Connecticut College

Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2019

This compelling volume focuses on the story of Andrew Pessin, a tenured philosophy professor at Connecticut College, who was accused by students and faculty of having “directly condoned the extermination of a people” based on a deliberate misreading of his 2015 Facebook post on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Salem on the Thames captures the events as they unfolded and discusses topics such as Western sentiments concerning Israeli-Palestinian relations, academics and free speech, antisemitism and diversity on the college campus, and social media and politics. The Pessin affair offers us a case study in a tendency towards “public shaming” reminiscent of the Salem witch trials that deeply compromises the integrity of academia.

“Salem on the Thames is a collection of essays, but most of them, including a very helpful annotated chronology of events, are by Landes, who has also compiled an extensive archive of primary-source documents at his blog. He and his other contributors dissect each and every way Pessin was sucker punched, lied to, manipulated, and thrown under the bus.”

Elliot Kaufman, Jewish Review of Books

“Richard Landes’ Salem on the Thames is an exhaustive, meticulously detailed account of an antisemitic vendetta at Connecticut College against Professor Andrew Pessin. If you want to understand how antisemitism disguised as ‘anti-Zionism’ has been permitted to grow and thrive on supposedly progressive college campuses, this case study is a great place to start.”
David E. Bernstein, University Professor and Executive Director, Liberty & Law Center at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University