Liberal and Illiberal Arts: Essays (Mostly Jewish) by Abraham Socher
How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture, and Enlightenment to America
How did Humphrey Bogart end up telling Lauren Bacall a Talmudic story in the film Key Largo, and what does that have to do with Plato’s theory of recollection—or American Jewish assimilation? Precisely what poem of Robert Frost’s inspired Nabokov’s Pale Fire, and how did Walter Benjamin learn about the remarkable stones of Sinai? Abraham Socher wears his learning lightly. These witty and original essays embody the spirit of the liberal arts, but the highlight of this collection may be his devastating account of the illiberal arts at work in Oberlin College, where he taught for eighteen years.
Year first published: 2022