Cultivating the Inner Life in the Time of COVID

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A new book offers a guide to uncovering the hidden pleasures of intellectual inquiry.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I t is too soon to know where COVID-19 will have its most lasting impact on American life, but surely institutions of higher education are one candidate. Having experienced at least part of a semester conducting classes online, liberal-arts colleges must now think about what makes on-campus, face-to-face education truly distinctive. Parents must confront the question of whether it makes sense to pay exorbitant amounts of money in the midst of a massive economic downturn.

Although Zena Hitz’s new book Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of the Intellectual Life is not primarily about institutions of higher learning, everyone who cares about

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Flagg Taylor is an associate professor of political science at Skidmore College and the editor, most recently, of The Long Night of the Watchman: Essays by Václav Benda, 19771989.

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