As delighted as I was to see the humanities heralded on the front page of the The New York Times August 26 Continuing Education section–I actually direct a humanities based continuing ed program at the University of Scranton– I rue the tone of surrender about the humanities for the young. My life would have been profoundly impoverished had I not inhaled and imbibed the humanities in my youth. I see the humanities as a public good–a preparation for citizenship in and commitment to a free society. The humanities help us to read and write, to think and evaluate, I believe we must lobby for their return to the basic college curriculum. The humanities are not a luxury. They are not a digression from job training. Many corporate executives understand that they enhance performance in the business world. And they certainly help us to comprehend and appreciate the free society. And, at the personal level, they are a source of untold pleasures.
Youth and the Humanities