Textbooks Behaving Badly

Are academic textbooks important in deciding the fate of nations?  Three of the last century's most celebrated intellectuals answered that question strongly in the affirmative.  In 1944, for example, C.S. Lewis penned his most profound literary work, The Abolition of Man, in response to a new textbook about to hit the shelves in England.  For Lewis, the rather subversive new English primer seemed dedicated to making a "clean sweep of traditional values," including the very notion of objective, universal laws of nature.  Lewis was worried that the "practical result" of the textbook's influence "must be the destruction of the society which accepts it." Across the Atlantic a few years later, a young Yale graduate named William F. Buckley launched his exceptional career by exposing the highly partisan and statist-friendly textbooks that formed the bulk of his curriculum there.  In God and Man at Yale, Buckley presented a compelling case that the university, under...(Read Full Article)

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