Summary of In Defense of a Liberal Education

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In Defense of a Liberal Education book summary
When you consider history, economics, geopolitics, happiness and fulfillment, the liberal arts win, hands down.


9 Overall

8 Importance

9 Innovation

9 Style


Commentator Fareed Zakaria packs wisdom and value into this slim volume. Citing history, economics and studies of happiness, he lays out an irresistible argument in support of the liberal arts as central to a college education and an informed society. In Socratic style, Zakaria raises questions that provoke you to think deeply about the answers. getAbstract suggests that parents, students, educators, politicians, policy makers and those interested in education – and in the founding principles and future of the United States – will want to read and discuss this compelling argument.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the US college education system evolved and how it fares today;
  • Why liberal arts, once the bedrock of US higher education, lost credibility; and
  • Why parents, politicians and educators must work to preserve the liberal arts education.


Attack on the Liberal Arts
The classic liberal education, once a hallmark of the United States’ college and university system – as opposed to those in Britain, Germany and almost all other nations – is now under attack. American students used to pursue a general education. Today, students...
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About the Author

Fareed Zakaria graduated from Yale with a degree in the liberal arts. He is a commentator on CNN on Sunday mornings.

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