Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

What Would Socrates Do?


That’s the title Naomi Shaefer Riley puts on her excellent review of The Art of Freedom by the late Earl Shorris in the Wall Street Journal.

Shorris recounts how he came to teach “disadvantaged” students about Western civilization. He insisted on discipline and never tried to pander to supposed prejudices by centering on the grievances of this group and that. She writes, “Much of the liberal-arts curriculum in universities today is devoted to learning about oppression of one sort or another, but Shorris argued that the study of the humanities is a fundamentally optimistic endeavor.” 

Many college courses would not compare well with Shorris’ “Clemente Course.”


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review