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Book Review of Fareed Zakaria?s In Defense of a Liberal Education,Christina E. Ekman.

Detailed Outline – Book Review of Fareed Zakaria?s In Defense of
a Liberal Education[1] Christina E. Ekman[2] President Obama?s concern ?that in today?s world, college
graduates need to focus on the tools that will get them good
jobs?is shared by many liberals, as well as conservatives and
independents. The irrelevance of a liberal education is an idea
that has achieved that rare status in Washington: bipartisan
agreement.?[3] I. Introduction
A. Who is Fareed Zakaria and why should you care what he
has to say about education?
i. Best known as host of CNN?s foreign affairs show, GPS.
Born in India in 1964. Came to United States in 1982 and
attended Yale, where he earned a BA in History during the cold
war, when foreign students had many incentives to come study
at American colleges and universities in the form of tuition
assistance.[4] Ultimately, Mr. Zakaria earned a Doctorate in
Philosophy from Harvard University in Government.[5] ii. Was overwhelmed and awestruck by the array of
choices available to him as a student. Stood out in stark contrast
to the uniformity and technical nature of higher education in his
native India. This is what prompted him to study in the United
States.[6] iii. Has worked as an adjunct professor, editor of Foreign
Affairs, Newsweek International, editor at large and columnist at
Time, and has written for a number of magazines on
international affairs. [7] iv. Published several books, served as a news analyst,
hosted a weekly TV show on PBS, and in 2008 began hosting
Fareed Zakaria Global Public Square (GPS). Includes several best
sellers. Dogged by plagiarism allegations in 2013 as well.[8]

B. Roadmap
i. General overview of book.
ii. Arguments and biases.
iii. Assessment
iv. Conclusion
II. Organization / Content of book
A. Book is well organized?starts out with his own story?how
he came to be a student in the United States during the cold war
and what struck him about the American approach to
college/university education, as compared to that in most other
countries. It is also well-researched and documented.
i. Coming to America
ii. Brief History of Liberal Education?back to times of
Romans and Greeks
iii. Learning to Think[9] iv. The Natural Aristocracy?an examination of the tradition
of the liberal education that began in this country with Thomas
Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin[10] v. Knowledge and Power
vi. In Defense of Today?s Youth
B. A Look at His Sources
i. Well researched
ii. Uses APA citation format with endnotes. Not as
effective as Bluebook for allowing reader to see exactly where
information was found, and not as efficient as footnotes. There
does not seem to be any issue with plagiarism though, which is
something Mr. Zakaria was accused of in the past.[11] III. Evaluation of the Book?s Merits and Weaknesses

B. What is his bias/agenda?he is a centrist and is taking on
the liberal and the conservative attack on the traditional
American liberal education.[12] i. He styles himself a reasonable centrist, and this is the
tone the book takes, as he addresses both the liberal and the
conservative positions against a liberal arts education today in
this country.[13] ii. He thinks there is no substitute for the liberal
education, especially in today?s high-tech world. This is based in
part on his personal experience, but is well supported by his
research. He does acknowledge the merits of a more technical
approach to education, but says that both are needed for the
well-rounded and successful student who will also succeed posteducation
in the work force.[14] iii. Three main purposes of the liberal education: teach
students to write[15], teach students to speak publicly[16],
teach students how to learn?lots of explanation of both[17] iv. Examples from international test data and what these
data really mean. (looks at Israel, Sweden, and the US as
compared to other countries with a more ?research university?
approach to learning?technical based.[18] More
startups/innovation out of Israel (#1), US (#2) and Sweden (#6)
than in other countries in Europe and Asia etc.)
v. Addresses impact of technology/online education and
its impact on higher education/liberal education?s accessibility,
and draws some parallels such as the GI Bill which opened up
education to more people of lower classes?which is consistent
with the earlier explained views of Thomas Jefferson and
Benjamin Franklin.
vi. Not very well versed in online education though?lots
of discussion of MOOCS, and none about the impact of for profit
online institutions such as University of Phoenix and American
Public University System, to name a few. This chapter needed
more research/more current information, as reputable for-profit
online institutions, which do make education more accessible to
more people (disabled students, first responders, deployed
service members, stay-at-home mothers and others who do not
have the means to attend a brick and mortar institution).
vii. There is a heavy lobby against such institutions by
the traditional colleges and universities for many reasons. That
needs to be examined in much more detail?similar impact to GI
Bill?that connection not fully examined. Note that tuition has not
risen in these institutions to the same degree as it has in
traditional schools. (Need citation here)[19] viii. Citation?was cited for plagiarism in 2013, but
nothing here suggests a problem. Well researched and very
detailed citation, though not as detailed and easy to follow as
Bluebook (but that is my bias).
Conclusion: Book is worth reading
[1] Fareed Zakaria, In Defense of a Liberal Education (2015).
[2] Christina Ekman is a retired Army Judge Advocate and an
Associate Professor in the American Public University System?s
Legal Studies Department.
[3] Id. at 19-20.
[4] Fareed (Last visited July 23, 2015).
[5] Fareed (Last visited July 23, 2015).
[6] Zakaria, supra note 1 29-39.
[7] Id.
[8] Lloyd Grove, Can Fareed Zakaria Survive A Plagiarism
Firestorm? Word Up, 11.12.141:25 PM ET, The Daily Beast
[9] Id. at
[10] Id. at
[11] Richard Leiby, Columnist Fareed Zakaria faces new
allegations of plagiarism, The Washington Post, (Aug. 19, 2014)
[12] Id. at 15-20.
[13] Id.
[14] Id. at 73-5.
[15] Id. at 73-5.
[16] Id. at 75-8.
[17] Id. at 78-9.
[18] Id. at 90 ? 101.