Dismantling Socrates: Why We Don’t Need a Required Great Books Curriculum

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Roosevelt Montás’s Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation (2021) is both a defense of the Columbia University general education program and a memoir recounting his interactions with writers such as Plato, Aristotle, Freud, Descartes, and Gandhi. John McWhorter (2021) calls it “a combination memoir and call to arms.” While I appreciate Montás’s commitment to the importance of the humanities and its role within higher education in the United States, I find his argument deeply troubling.

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