The Dumbest Generation

The Dumbest Generation
Mark Bauerlein

I can go along with the stark thesis expressed in the title of this book, and blame many of the same causes (the decline in reading, and other fallout from the digital revolution), but the political conclusion didn’t win me over. Perhaps I was still too much under the skeptical influence of John Carey’s What Good Are the Arts?, but I have to question whether a liberal arts education really makes us better citizens. Personal observation and anecdotal evidence suggest to me that this may not be the case. Politically, the best and the brightest seem to get us in just as much trouble as the certifiable morons. Which makes me wonder just how much knowledge is essential to optimum individual or social functioning. Perhaps far less than we think.