Literature

William Deresiewicz’s defense of the humanities

William Deresiewicz, who first achieved some public-intellectual prominence for delivering a great lecture on solitude and leadership to the plebe class at West Point in 2009, recently published a New Republic article arguing that parents shouldn’t send their kids to the Ivy League. Setting aside the Internet-ready provocation of the thesis, I wanted to quote Deresiewicz’s old-fashioned but well-articulated case for why college is valuable. It works as an argument for the value of the humanities as well, and is the kind of simple, effective, widely appealing argument that I wanted to promote in my earlier posts on defenses of the humanities:

What, in short, is college for?

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