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The Idea of the American University

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Table of Contents

1 Acknowledgments 2 Introduction: The American University in Crisis Part 3 Part I: The Life and Times of the American University Chapter 4 Chapter 1. Universitas sine Universo: On the Home of Truth When There Is No Truth Chapter 5 Chapter 2. The End of the American Core Curriculum Chapter 6 Chapter 3. From Civilizational Memory and the Upward Lifting of Souls, to Upward Mobility, to Upending Social Mores: The Going Down of University Education in One Professor's Lifetime Chapter 7 Chapter 4. Roller of Big Cigars: The American University as Cheerful Mortician Chapter 8 Chapter 5. Eccentric Education-The American Way Part 9 Part II: Higher Education and Democracy Chapter 10 Chapter 6. Socrates in America Chapter 11 Chapter 7. Human Dignity and Higher Education Today Chapter 12 Chapter 8. Now that the University Has Become the High School, Where Do We Get an Education? Part 13 Part III: The University and the Liberal Arts Chapter 14 Chapter 9. St. Augustine, the University, and the So-Called Liberal Arts Chapter 15 Chapter 10. Toward an American Liberal Education, Or, Why God Hates the Liberal Arts 16 About the Contributors 17 About the Editor

About the Author

Bradley C. S. Watson is professor of political science at Saint Vincent College in Pennsylvania, and the Philip M. McKenna Chair in American and Western Political Thought.


This volume deserves the attention of all those who care about the fate of liberal education in our time. The thoughtful scholars included in this work show that the once clear and purposive western universities, which were dedicated to the search for truth and elevation of the human mind and soul, are now dedicated to nothing at all, unless it be to a kind of intellectual promiscuity. Nonetheless, this volume contains within it the seeds of hope for recapturing the purpose of the liberal arts in modern democratic societies, and therewithal, a recommitment to the highest human aspirations. -- Colleen Sheehan, Villanova University Essential reading for anyone concerned about the future on higher education in America. Don't miss it. -- Roger Kimball, author of Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Our Higher Education These thoughtful and penetrating essays on American higher education offer not just a stark dissection of its follies and failures, but also the wisdom necessary for renewal. -- Bruce S. Thornton, National Fellow, Hoover Institution

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