The canon lives — in adult courses

“The canon of great literature, philosophy, and art is thriving β€” in the marketplace, if not on college campuses, writes Heather Mac Donald in City Journal.

The Great Courses (previously The Teaching Company) is turning a profit “selling recorded lectures in the humanities and sciences to an adult audience eager to brush up its Shakespeare and its quantum mechanics.”

Back when I was commuting to work, I listened to the history of western thought series on tape. One of their economics lecturers, Tim Taylor, is an old friend and former San Jose Mercury News colleague. Yes, back when newspapers made money, we had an editorial writer who understood economics — and math.

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  1. God I loved Tim Taylor’s course on Economics thru the Teaching Company. For $129 I learned more than from the thousands I spent on three Econ classes in college.

  2. I covet these courses greatly; I get the catalog and sigh over them. Someday when I’m rich I’ll buy a bunch. πŸ™‚ That was a great article; I really enjoyed it–and I liked the mention of Jeremy McInerney, whose Alexander the Great course is the only one I have managed to get hold of.

  3. I *love* these courses. Elizabeth Vandiver, J. Rufus Fears, and John McWhorter are my very favorite instructors so far — I would get any course that they taught. Worth every penny.

  4. Richard Aubrey says:

    My Christmas list just arrived. I make have to make a couple of exceptions for modern art or something.
    One caveat. John McWhorter did an intro/survey lecture on languages which hit the high spots, mucho interesting. It was, pretty frankly, an ad. Still interesting and worth the hour.

  5. You don’t need to spend money. Check out all of the free content available at iTunes U. Stanford, in particular, makes a lot of first-rate content available for free.