Nobody Wants to Cancel the Classics — Except Academic Elites

Nobody Wants to Cancel the Classics — Except Academic Elites

The great books are accessible to anyone who chooses to study and read with an open mind. Pigs must be flying, hell frozen over, and the lion laying down with the lamb. At a time when the divide between Left and Right has widened to a chasm, figures as dissimilar as the progressive hosts of The View and representatives of the right-wing Claremont Institute have found a source of unity in their passionate support of classical education. The View’s Joy Behar recently said, “It’s important that we all learn about the Greeks, for example, who basically gave us everything,” while co-host Sara Haines believes that the classics “should be the foundation of college-level education.” On the right, Claremont’s Spencer Klavan, host of the Young Heretics podcast, argued that “everyone — whatever race, whatever background — should read the classics. It’s your . . . chance to learn from the best about how to be human.” The catalyst of this collection of accolades for the Western canon was a piece I co-wrote with Professor Cornel West on Howard University’s decision to …
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