Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Further Reading, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: Why Education Is Useless

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pp. 1-16

Intellectual rhymes with ineffectual, and rightly so, many would say. The uselessness of education is a perdurable theme in Western cultural history—one so influential, in fact, that any respect we might have for highly educated people is likely to retreat before our suspicion of them. ...

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Chapter One: Humanity

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pp. 17-45

Having led Hillsdale College since 1971, George P. Roche, ill resigned his presidency in 1999. He did so in the wake of allegations by his daughter-in-law that he had carried on a sexual relationship with her for the past nineteen years. It did not help matters that after making her allegations she had committed suicide. ...

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Chapter Two: Love

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pp. 46-74

Jokes about the folly of education have a long and distinguished history. Prior to the Renaissance, the preferred slurs for the learned emphasized their unfitness for warfare and practical business, their ignominious poverty, the generally ridiculous figure they cut, and the cloudiness of their interminable debates. ...

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Chapter Three: Beauty

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pp. 75-106

For many years now I have dwelt among university folk, especially among those who cultivate the fields of the humanities. Anyone who has studied these people knows that one of their most cherished tales has its initial setting in a provincial town in Germany in the late eighteenth century. ...

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Chapter Four: Identity

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pp. 107-129

It must have been in the early 1960s that I first heard the joke. Maybe I came across it in an article quoting Malcolm X, to whom it is often attributed, or maybe I heard it from my older cousin Ronnie, who quit his doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin to go down to Mississippi to work in "the Movement," as it was called. ...

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Chapter Five: Survival

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pp. 130-159

In the last three decades of the twentieth century, survivalism became a recognized social movement in the United States and the survivalist a familiar figure in news stories and popular culture. As the century came to a close, for example, the FBI continued to search for Eric Robert Rudolph, ...

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Chapter Six: Utility

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pp. 160-206

It is one of the most famous educations, or miseducations, in the modern Western world. Under the tutelage of his father, a devoted follower of the Utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill was made a striking example of the possibilities of educational progress. ...

Notes

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pp. 207-234

Index

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pp. 235-246

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 247-256

For their helpful responses to parts of this book at various stages of its composition, I'd like to thank Ellen Greene, Julie Green, Julian Wolfreys, Christian Gregory, Mary Childers, Amitava Kumar, Susan Kates, Stephanie Smith, Tim Murphy, John Murchek, AI Shoaf, Brandy Kershner, and Ira Clark. ...