Jump to content

An American Tragedy: On the Suicide of Liberal Education


Recommended Posts

The Public Discourse

Life’s biggest questions are almost never resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, and if we don’t study the differences between the Epicureans and the Stoics, between Locke and Rousseau, and between legal originalists and non-originalists, we are missing out on our own music: sometimes a battle of the bands, sometimes cacophony, always fascinating.



The dust jacket of John Agresto’s new book, The Death of Learning: How American Education Has Failed Our Students and What to Do about It, depicts Gore Hall at Harvard in the 1870s. Perhaps this is a subtle indication of what lies within: Gore Hall, Harvard’s first proper library, was demolished in 1913. To be sure, it was replaced by the grand Widener Library, which is a treasure. But will it remain a treasure? In September 2020, the university announced in a press release that “Harvard Library has begun building an Anti-Racism team,” appointing its “first Anti-Black Racism Librarian/Archivist,” who “will work with colleagues across Harvard Library on objectives relating to centering anti-racism and diversity in our collections lifecycle.” Imagine being paid to string words together like this about a “collections lifecycle”—at Harvard.

But you don’t have to imagine: this is what has become of education in this country, not only at Harvard but pretty much everywhere. The situation, summed up in a sentence by Agresto: “There’s no way to view this as other than a tragedy.” Particularly insidious is that, unlike most examples of political attacks on education in the past, the recent “dismantling of the liberal arts comes from . . . within”:

It comes from radicalized departments of history, literature, classics, American studies, and all the myriad of other studies connected to ethnopolitical interest groups. It comes from virtually every school and college of education. This is why I have no hesitation in saying that liberal education in America is dying not by murder but by suicide.:snip:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • 1695494078
  • Create New...