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In Defense of a Liberal Education Audiobook

In Defense of a Liberal Education

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author of The Post-American World and host of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS argues for a renewed commitment to the world's most valuable educational traditions in this fascinating audiobook.

The liberal arts educational system is under attack. Governors in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina have announced that they will not spend taxpayer money subsidizing the liberal arts. Majors like English and history - which were once very popular and highly respected - are in steep decline, and President Obama has recently advised students to keep in mind that technical training could be more valuable than a degree in art history when deciding on an educational path.

In this timely and urgently needed audiobook, Fareed Zakaria explains that this turn away from the liberal arts is a mistake. A liberal education provides the foundation for finding your voice, writing, speaking your mind, and ultimately learning - all immensely valuable skills no matter your profession. Technology and globalization are making these skills even more valuable and necessary as routine mechanical and even computing tasks can be done by machines. More than just a path to a career, Zakaria argues that a liberal education is an exercise in freedom, and above all it feeds the most basic urge of the human spirit - to know.

©2015 Fareed Zakaria. All rights reserved. (P)2015 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (256 )
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  •  
    Joe Freiburger 04-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Short, but engaging and persuading"
    What did you love best about In Defense of a Liberal Education?

    I enjoyed this book. It was short, very easy to understand, and noted some academic studies to support his hypothesis. An engaging argument to support those that choose to follow a liberal arts education.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard 04-09-15
    Howard 04-09-15
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    "Almost"

    I can almost agree with all that Fareed had to say. I myself did not graduate from high school. And I have a great life today at the age of sixty one. I've made a lot of mistakes but I learned from everyone of them. When I started out at the age of 12 I new that the most important thing was too make as much money as you can, and always learn as much as you can from everything that you do.
    And I'm still learning every day! This is how life should be. Enjoying every moment of what you make of it. And if you screw up you can always try something else!!

    Howard Hackney

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy 04-23-15
    Troy 04-23-15

    I grew up on Golden Age Radio, I love to learn about a great many things, and I enjoy a wide variety of genres. Me, bored? Never!

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    "Thinking for Yourself Is a Good Thing"

    Having grown up in Texas, one of the biggest offenders against the idea of the masses thinking for itself as individuals, I can look almost anywhere in my surroundings and directly apply Zakaria's arguments. There is so much practical wisdom here that most will never see or take advantage of that it hurts. Zakaria's thoughts here are well-organized, well-defended, and transparent on every level, and yet, implementing it to its fullest goes beyond the level of the individual. Those in power have very little incentive to change the status quo because that's how they got to power in the first place. Even so, Zakaria makes an excellent case for the practicality and value of liberal arts and the power of a people who can hink for themselves. My personal suggestion would be the one path unthinkable to most: for an individual to continue such studies on their own. There are resources aplenty in the age of information. Play the game, get the degree you think you need, but never stop learning. If someone says a body of knowledge isn't necessary in modern society, there are many good reasons that knowledge should be pursued with enthusiasm.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert N. Lettieri 04-28-15
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    "Think twice before dropping a liberal education.!!"

    Before you try to kick the liberal arts out the door, read Farid's book and you'll think twice...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thucydides Canada 09-16-16
    Thucydides Canada 09-16-16 Member Since 2016
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    "highly readable & thoughtful Defense"

    Food for thought for anyone who loves learning. I disagreed with much, but that is what I look for--an intelligent and original thinker who challenges my own assumptions. I came away with more optimism about the current generation--also, more hope for the renewal of freedom of thought that can only come about by direct engagement with one another and with the greatest thinkers of our various traditions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lionel 09-11-16
    lionel 09-11-16 Member Since 2015

    If I could tell you.

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    "It does make me think ... a lot"
    Would you listen to In Defense of a Liberal Education again? Why?

    Probably. Actually I think the author/narrator already did a good job to present the views and ideas clearly enough. The views may not be very new but the author organizes it well under a modern-era setting with his genuine thoughts and feelings. These still make people like me think about how we should live nowadays, as well as the key values in the modern society.


    What other book might you compare In Defense of a Liberal Education to and why?

    "Excellent sheep". The author actually mentions this book in his narration. They are similar in terms of expressing views and concerns over the trending of social values. They both come up with great diagnostics. Also, it is worth mentioning that both authors come from Yale University.


    Which character – as performed by Fareed Zakaria – was your favorite?

    This book is not about characters.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The author has a great vision. At the end of the book, the author envisions the future of education where technology and big data would change its shape: more personalization could be achieved through large-scale data analysis, while the emergence of the Internet would bring high-quality education to more people. It may go off the subject of "defense of a liberal education" (against skill-driven education), and ironically, in order to implement this vision, we seem to need more people with the technical skills. Well, of course, on top of it, someone with good liberal education who has the right values is to lead the technology advancements.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timmy the G Phildadelphia, PA 08-31-16
    Timmy the G Phildadelphia, PA 08-31-16 Member Since 2015

    TJ Go

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    "Very good"

    He said precisely what I have always thought, though he is much more eloquent than I. I want my children to hear/read this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 01-13-16
    Peter 01-13-16
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    "Flawless"

    He is a master of rhetoric and should be read in every home and every college.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ahmed 12-24-15
    Ahmed 12-24-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent book"

    Excellent book. I recommend it to all parents and educators to read and share.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Cooper 06-03-15
    Adam Cooper 06-03-15
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    "Enlightening defense"

    For the ability to connect the information with results it produces this is very well thought out. It's quick and thought provoking for starts and supportive research for those looking to understand influence of education in our future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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