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ERIC Number: EJ1007026
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-4852
Humanists in High Dudgeon: The CFR-ALSCW Standoff
Agresto, John
Academic Questions, v26 n2 p192-198 Jun 2013
When "Academic Questions" editor Peter Wood asked the author to give some thought to the dispute between the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers (ALSCW), he thought he should say no. Well, what did the CFR report prepared by an independent task force chaired by Joel I. Klein, former head of New York City public schools, and Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state, argue? That the dismal state of American precollegiate education leaves the country in danger not only in the realm of global business and trade but also in terms of national security. The report has no hesitation arguing that cultural studies can have a more appropriate aim than learning cultural relativism or beating up on America. But, now enters the ALSCW in various poses of sanctimony and pique: "The CFR authors seem, by contrast, to regard people as units of merely instrumental value in larger systems of corporate production and military defense." The report is "shallow," "slippery," "irresponsible," replete with "repellent features." The ALSCW essays all attempt to show how an education in the liberal arts is of high personal value, how it makes the student more thoughtful, more discerning, no doubt happier, perhaps ultimately even more wise. But the thrust of the CFR report is to push in a different, and equally valuable, direction. Real, solid traditional liberal education is both a private good "and" a public good. Good for individuals as well as for the country. It leads the nation, indeed, to ask the questions so many liberal artists hesitate to ask: questions of practicality and use. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York; United States