December 30, 2007
December 13, 2007
December 12, 2007
Globe and Mail Update
December 10, 2007 at 4:02 AM EST
"It's been 375 years since Galileo published his earth-shaking Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 336 since John Milton wrote Paradise Regained and nearly 40 since James D. Watson had an apparent international bestseller with The Double Helix, about the discovery of the structure of DNA. Amazingly, however, none of these books, and thousands of classics like them, has ever been translated into Arabic, the first tongue of more than 300 hundred million persons worldwide. Indeed, according to a 2003 United Nations report into human development in the Arab world, more books are translated into Spanish each year – 10,000 – than have been translated into Arabic in the previous 10 centuries.
"Now this situation is being rectified by the sheikhdom of Abu Dhabi, one of the seven Muslim United Arab Emirates, which last month officially revealed its plans to translate 100 epochal foreign-language texts into Arabic by the end of next year."
December 07, 2007
December 06, 2007
December 05, 2007
GU Liberal Education Needs a Liberal Dose of Change
November 26, 2007
November 14, 2007
November 06, 2007
November 02, 2007
October 17, 2007
October 02, 2007
"Most unsettling to religious Jews and Christians may be Kugel's chapters about the origins of God and his chosen people. Kugel says that there is essentially no evidence -- archaeological, historical, cultural -- for the events in the Torah. No sign of an exodus from Egypt; no proof that Israelites ever invaded, much less conquered, Canaan; no indication that Jericho was ever sacked. In fact, quite the contrary: current evidence suggests that the Israelites were probably Canaanites themselves, semi-nomadic highlanders or fleeing city dwellers who gradually separated from their mother culture, established a distinct identity and invented a mythical past."
A first chapter of the book is also available:
"In going through the Bible, however, this book will focus not only on what the text says but on the larger question of what a modern reader is to make of it, how it is to be read. This will mean examining two quite different ways of understanding the Bible, those of modern biblical scholars and of ancient interpreters."
September 27, 2007
"In his new book, Anthony T. Kronman argues that the American college curriculum is seriously flawed for not giving students a true grounding in the classics that explore the human condition. Education's End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life (Yale University Press) mixes Kronman's assessment of the problems in academe with a set of proposed solutions. Kronman, the Sterling Professor of Law at Yale University, responded to questions about the book."
Jacob Laksin (City Journal)
Dissenter Inside the Tower
Yale professor Anthony Kronman laments the politicization of the humanities.
12 October 2007
September 24, 2007
September 19, 2007
"If you haven't read the book you should shut the hell up," said Daniel Born, vice president at Chicago-based the Great Books Foundation and editor of the Common Review. "That should maybe be the central rule of etiquette for any book club or book discussion."
Read 'em the riot act
MEETING | Discussion hogs, bullies and non-reading slackers must be shelved for group to reach potential
September 18, 2007 | Chicago Sun-Times
September 18, 2007
"As it turns out, some of these confused journalists were working at The Times Book Review itself. "
September 17, 2007
The Storm Over the University
The New York Review of Books, December 6, 1990
Books on the Canon Wars
By RACHEL DONADIO
New York Times, September 16, 2007
"Shelves of books on the state of American higher education have appeared over the years, ranging from the historical to the analytical to the downright polemical. The following list presents some highlights from the last half-century of debate over what an educated person should know."
By RACHEL DONADIO
New York Times, September 16, 2007
"Today it's generally agreed that the multiculturalists won the canon wars. Reading lists were broadened to include more works by women and minority writers, and most scholars consider that a positive development. Yet 20 years later, there's a more complicated sense of the costs and benefits of those transformations."
September 14, 2007
MS: Well, what thrilled me about the book is that around two hundred pages in what I felt about it was that it just began to get better and better and better. I started to like it more and more, and look forward to going back to reading it and felt a kind of, I don't know, tenderness toward it, toward both its characters and its narrator, because of the extraordinary effort that was going into writing it. It didn't seem like difficulty for difficulty's sake; it seemed like immense difficulty being expended because something important about how difficult it has become to be human needed to be said, and that there weren't other ways to say that.
DFW: I feel like I want to ask you to adopt me.
By PETER BERKOWITZ
Wall Street Journal September 5, 2007
"At universities and colleges throughout the land, undergraduates and their parents pay large sums of money for -- and federal and state governments contribute sizeable tax exemptions to support -- "liberal" education. This despite administrators and faculty lacking, or failing to honor, a coherent concept of what constitutes an educated human being."
September 10, 2007
The Champions of Our Literary Imagination
By Bruce Meyer
HarperCollins, 273 pages, $34.95
Reviewed by KEITH GAREBIAN
Toronto Globe and Mail, September 8, 2007
"From Gilgamesh to Jesus, from Beowulf to King Arthur, from Hercules to Superman, from Hamlet to King Lear, the most extraordinary heroes live through the pages of literature, tempting us to accompany them on their special quests through life's labyrinths, where they battle foes and obstacles and show how we, ordinary mortals, are joined to them collectively as they attempt to solve the puzzles of their own being."
August 24, 2007
August 16, 2007
by Chester E. Finn, Jr., Diane Ravitch
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
"America's true competitive edge over the long haul is not its technical prowess but its creativity, its imagination, its inventiveness. And those attributes are best inculcated not by skill-drill or "STEM" [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education] but through liberal arts and sciences, liberally defined. Thus argues this new Fordham volume, edited by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Diane Ravitch, which also explores what policymakers and educators at all levels can to do sustain liberal learning and sketches an unlovely future if we fail."
August 14, 2007
July 12, 2007
THE WAR OF THE GREAT BOOKS
American Heritage Magazine, 1989
by Benjamin McArthur
At the end of an annual meeting of the Annapolis Group, a loose association of liberal arts colleges, it was announced that the presidents of dozens of liberal arts colleges had decided to stop participating in the annual college rankings by U.S. News and World Report.
May 03, 2007
April 24, 2007
A new report contends that fewer and fewer college English majors are being required to study Shakespeare. In a 60-page report titled " The Vanishing Shakespeare," the non-profit American Council of Trustees and Alumni reports that only 15 of the 70 colleges and universities it examined require their English majors to take a Shakespeare course.
April 12, 2007
April 09, 2007
April 06, 2007
Also, a video clip and transcript of his appearance on Booknotes in support of his book Why Read?