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Why Choose the Liberal Arts? Paperback – August 20, 2010
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About the Author
Mark William Roche is the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Professor of German Language and Literature and concurrent Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. From 1997 to 2008, Roche served as dean of Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters. His books include Why Literature Matters in the 21st Century and The Intellectual Appeal of Catholicism and the Idea of a Catholic University, the latter published by the University of Notre Dame Press.
Top Customer Reviews
Roche covers it all in this book, and organizes his thoughts in a way that tells the reader 'here is what you and society have been trained to think regarding liberal arts, but a shift in focus can bring much more value.' Also, to change the emphasis of "value" is helpful...since (in my mind) knowing how to think rather than what to think might not pay off in the first few years, but pays great dividends long term. There are other benefits besides dollars, but even those other benefits impacts a liberal arts grad's career.
Business leaders need to read this book because it will show them what is missing from their business by simply hiring pre-professional college graduates. Prospective college graduates and their parents need to read this book because it will help you sell yourself to a world which underappreciates habits learned in a liberal arts environment. College staff and faculty need to read this book as it supports what we already know, that a graduate of the liberal arts is better off long term for several reasons.
You'll have to pick up the book to read how. I plan on recommending this book to the liberal arts colleges I serve.
Roche was Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame for over ten years, so he has not only thought about the value of the liberal arts (which includes not just philosophy, history, and literature, but math and science as well), he has spent a lot of time exploring ideas with students and colleagues, answering the questions of the skeptical, and advocating for the role of the liberal arts in a world obsessed with what it thinks of as relevance and immediate, measurable gains. It can be a dispiriting task at times. It is far easier to preach to the choir, which is what so much of the writing on the liberal arts feels like. Roche’s book is largely in that category as well. He tries to reach out to the skeptical and the uninitiated, and he points out why student, parents, teachers, employers, and others should find his arguments useful, but the fact remains that the book is not likely to find a large audience among the unconverted. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.
That is not to say that Roche’s book does not have value. Indeed, there is a lot here that I wish would attract a wider audience.Read more ›