In Defence Of A Liberal Education



I’m an avid reader, and love recommending and writing on books that have moved or aided me as I go forward getting jobs (not getting jobs), studying and figuring out life here in Montreal.

I major in English Literature, and while for some that doesn’t mean immediate job security, I’m very happy with what I’m studying and paying for.  I enjoy my classes, my professors and the content of my education perfectly well as I hope you all do in any field you’re in! Although this means I can expect that even complete strangers feel the need to ask “How will you get a job with that?” and less specifically, “How does one get work with a liberal education?” (which I have been asked).  Everyone at every family barbeque I’ve ever gone to wants to know.

Zakaria makes an interesting and personal defence for the kind of education I love.  Based off of a commencement speech, In Defence of a Liberal Education aided with some of my obvious uncertainties and encouraged my resolve, stating the necessity for a kind of education that nowadays can be highly criticized. I enjoyed his point of view but appreciated the honesty with which he addressed the idea of a future with a liberal arts education and how that education helps our society.

Successful in his own right, Fareed Zakaria is an author, hosts CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS and writes a weekly column for The Washington Post. The book begins outlining his experiences as an Indian born American studying in the Ivy Leagues and breaking into journalism. He draws upon successful examples of the usefulness of a liberal education and highlights the value in learning freely, creatively and passionately within each of our chosen paths.

I’m not precisely sure where my degree will take me immediately but I enjoyed following someone else’s adventure. Insightful and understanding, it was a satisfying and quick read I would recommend for anyone the least bit curious in life after the last exam! An excerpt of the book is also offered here!

“The crucial challenge is to learn how to read critically, analyze data, and formulate ideas—and most of all to enjoy the intellectual adventure enough to be able to do them easily and often.” -Fareed Zakaria, In Defence of a Liberal Education

Best of luck!

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