With humor, lucidity, and unflinching rigor, the acclaimed authors of Who Killed Homer? and Plagues of the Mind unsparingly document the degeneration of a central, if beleaguered, disciplineclassicsand reveal the root causes of its decline. Hanson, Heath, and Thornton point to academics themselvestheir careerist ambitions, incessant self-promotion, and overspecialized scholarship, among other thingsas the progenitors of the crisis, and call for a return to "academic populism," an approach characterized by accessible, unspecialized writing, selfless commitment to students and teaching, and respect for the legacy of freedom and democracy that the ancients bequeathed to the West.
What They're Saying...
"The authors, who define their own enterprise as "academic populism," address this [academic] elitism and hypocrisy in a series of scathing essays and book reviews..."
— Publishers Weekly
"This is an important book for those who wish to give the classics a primary place in the education of our youth and for all those who care about quality teaching."
— Sunday Times
"[R]eaders who enjoy common sense expressed in vigorous prose are going to love Bonfire of the Humanities."
— Academic Questions
"[T]his is a valuable book for its sustained attempt to stimulate thought about how classics and the humanities in general should be approached."
— Bryn Mawr Classical Review