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April 11, 2005

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another David Brooks Edition)

Matthew Yglesias points out that David Brooks simply doesn't know what he's talking about--that all the dead white European men are very much alive and very well:

Matthew Yglesias: Dead White Men: Alive and Well: David Brooks' assert[s] that we have 'a generation of students who are educated in a way that doesn't bring them into contact with the European canon.... One hears a lot of this sort of thing from conservatives, and I wonder if they read any syllabi.... I believe I took a grand total of four classes that didn't feature at least one reading by a European author. One was a physics class, one was on American social policy, one was a class on American literature, and one was about the history of Japan. This idea that the traditional western canon has vanished from the educational system is absurd. I took one class on a non-western subject (along with two science classes and several philosophy classes that had no discernable cultural 'location'), the minimum I was allowed to get away with, which I think was fairly typical behavior. It hardly would have killed me to have taken two or even three.

UPDATE: Which is all to say who, exactly, does Brooks think I've been missing out on? Tragically, there are many more books worth reading than actual time to read them, but I think I've done pretty well on the whole. If I'd actually followed orders and read Democracy in America I'd be in better shape Great Brooks-wise, but I did read his book about France.

Posted by DeLong at April 11, 2005 01:50 PM