The Center For The Study Of The Great Ideas Applauds James Fulford's Defense Of Great Books

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11/29/08 - Saturday Forum: A California Reader Says Unemployed Americans' "Plan B" Is "No Mas"; etc.

From: Max Weismann (e-mail him)

Re: James Fulford's Blog: Great Books—Who Wrote Them? And Who Can Say?

Fulford wrote about Alex Beam's book A Great Idea At The Time: The Rise, Fall, And Curious Afterlife of The Great Books, a book that provides a good example of argumentum ad hominem.

Beam's subtitle should have read "Every Negative Fact and Innuendo I Could Dredge Up."

Although Beam was not particularly unkind to me in the book, I found virtually every page to be a smart-alecky and snide diatribe of the worst order against the Great Books, Mortimer Adler,  Robert Hutchins, et al. Worse, the book is replete with errors of commission and omission.

As an effective antidote, I prescribe Hutchins' pithy essay, The Great Conversation.

If the Great Books crusade is as bleak as Beam purports, then happily, not many will read his invective book.

Weisman is President and co-founder with Mortimer Adler of the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas