Skip to content
Robert A. George

Do the Great Books Hold the Keys to Success?

A conversation with “Rescuing Socrates” author Roosevelt Montás on why liberal education is more important than ever — and why the left and right are both wrong about what today’s students should learn.  

The Bard’s never been more necessary.

The Bard’s never been more necessary.

Photographer: Brandon Bell/Getty Images North America

This is one of a series of interviews by Bloomberg Opinion columnists on how to solve the world’s most pressing policy challenges. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Robert A. George: You’re a senior lecturer of American Studies and English at Columbia University, the former director of Columbia’s famed Core Curriculum and the author of “Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life And Why They Matter For A New Generation.”
Your book describes your own journey as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic and emphasizes the importance of a liberal education for all, especially immigrants and the underprivileged. So why does Socrates need to be rescued? What is the significance of Socrates in the context of modern education?