Henry David Thoreau once remarked: “[r]ead the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.”  This is sound advice for anyone.  There was a time when American high schools and universities provided significant exposure to the “best books.” In the latter half of the 20thcentury, educators referred to them as the “great books.”  Yet more recently, this body of texts – classic works of literature, philosophy, history, and culture – have been denounced and displaced at every educational level.
It’s unusual now for a student to read even excerpts from the great texts.  The

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