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Fareed Zakaria argues for a renewed commitment to the world's most valuable educational tradition.
The liberal arts are under attack. Degree courses like English and history, once very popular and highly respected, are in steep decline. In the US President Obama recently urged students to keep in mind that technical training could be more valuable than a degree in art history.
In this urgently needed book, Fareed Zakaria argues that this turn away from the liberal arts is a mistake. A liberal education teaches you how to write, how to speak your mind and how to learn—immensely valuable tools no matter what your profession. Technology and globalisation are actually making these skills even more valuable as routine mechanical and even computing tasks can be done by machines or workers in low-wage countries. More than just a path to a career, a liberal education is an exercise in freedom. Above all, it is an expression of the most basic urge of the human spirit—to know.
“In Defense of a Liberal Education brilliantly and provocatively argues that the university is much more than a vocational school. The flight from the liberal arts is leaving us impoverished. Zakaria’s book couldn’t have come at a more valuable time.” — Malcolm Gladwell