Modern Scholar: How to Think

  • by Professor Michael D. C. Drout
  • Narrated by Professor Michael D. C. Drout
  • 5 hrs and 14 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

In How to Think: The Liberal Arts and Their Enduring Value, Professor Michael D. C. Drout gives an impassioned defense and celebration of the value of the liberal arts. Charting the evolution of the liberal arts from their roots in the educational system of Ancient Rome through the Middle Ages and to the present day, Drout shows how the liberal arts have consistently been "the tools to rule", essential to the education of the leaders of society. Offering a reasoned defense of their continuing value, Drout also provides suggestions for improving the state of the liberal arts in contemporary society.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

11 out of 12 ain't bad

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I surmise that this course seemed interesting in preparation, but in the presentation, the material falls flat.

What was most disappointing about Professor Michael D. C. Drout’s story?

The material is just not compelling. True as it is, this material sounds like it is more suited for a peer conference where humanities grad students can come and get some good talking points for why their disciplines matter. As a general course, it fails to inspire.

Would you be willing to try another one of Professor Michael D. C. Drout’s performances?


You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The redeeming quality is that even when Drout fails to engage me, he is still very enjoyable--and erudite.

Any additional comments?

Don't let this negative review keep you from trying any of Drout's other courses, especially Way With Words (the first one), Anglo-Saxon History, and History of English Language. Drout is a really fine teacher and his other courses are very inspiring. He is one of the Modern Scholars' most popular presenters for a reason.

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- criticaltom "criticaltom"

A defense of the Liberal Arts

If you've heard any of Drout's other lecture series, or even just read their customer reviews, you know that Drout is one of the best lecturers available on Audible. In my opinion, this series is every bit as good as his others, both in content and presentation. Drout is, as always, engaging, erudite, thought-provoking, and funny. Maybe the subject matter doesn't have as broad an appeal, but if you're actually interested in a discussion, defense, or critique of the liberal arts, this is a good one.

In case it needs to be said, pay attention to the subtitle and the description, not just the title. Here's a description of the eight individual lectures:

Lecture 1: Where the Liberal Arts came from. Lecture 2: How the sciences split off from the liberal arts. Lecture 3: The liberal arts as "the tools to rule." Lecture 4: Can the liberal arts make you a better person? Lecture 5: The best reasons for studying the liberal arts: Solving complex problems, and preserving and transmitting culture. Lecture 6: Case study: Beowulf. Lecture 7: What's wrong with the liberal arts, and how to fix it. Lecture 8: Answering the critics of the liberal arts.
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- Steve and/or Jodene

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: Recorded Books