Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Reader Mail re: Literature in Higher Education


Dr. de Russy,

I am a third-class midshipman (sophomore) at the United States Naval Academy who follows your articles and comments on National Review Online quite closely.  It’s disappointing to me that Yale in particular, the only school that made my college decision tough, has sunk so low.  I am a double-major at the Academy — English and math — and I can tell you that I find my literature curriculum here, at a school renowned for its engineering programs, much more rigorous than what is reported both anecdotally and statistically in more prestigious liberal arts schools.  We focus, not exclusively but largely, on classics by “dead white males” — indispensable works like The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Canterbury Tales, Moby Dick, an entire required course on Shakespeare . . . but we also read Phillis Wheatley and Emily Dickinson. 

In short, I’m more happy than ever that I chose to come to an engineering school to be an English major — and I would like to thank you for helping validate my choice.

Very respectfully,
MIDN 3/c Emily Frost


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