Friday, January 14, 2005


I mentioned yesterday the excellent article by Jonathan Rose which showed how inspiring to ordinary working class people the "dead white males" (so hated by the Left) can be. Rose showed how working class people would once seek them out and read them simply for pleasure and personal enlightenment. We also know how thoroughly the Left have succeeded in removing such authors from present-day high school and college curricula and how the politically correct replacement texts are simply boring to the students. Rose suggests, and I agree, that a restoration of "the greats" to modern curricula would do much to improve educational standards, if only because of the greater enthusiasm they would generate among the students.

In that connection, let me list just some of the authors who were included in my own 6TH GRADE reading book of 50 years ago: Longfellow, Masefield, Dickens, Cervantes, Henry Lawson (a revered Australian poet), Wordsworth, Goldsmith, Whittier, Cowper, Reade, Tolstoy, Scott, Byron and Turgenev. Sadly, that list will probably be meaningless to most of my younger readers unless they are real "culture vultures" but the authors included are some of the greatest prose and poetry authors of all time. If an introduction to "The Greats" on that scale can be accomplished in just one year of primary school, it is perfectly evident that across an entire primary and secondary school curriculum we could offer a fairly complete coverage of the great minds of the past. It is not "too difficult".

Given the proven capacity to inspire of the great authors, a return to them would not only be worthwhile in it own right but should also enthuse the students far more than the boring propaganda they have now and thus lead them on to generally higher levels of educational and intellectual attainment. As some students graduate from modern-day American High Schools barely able to read and write, the scope for improvement in levels of educational and intellectual attainment would seem almost limitless.


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