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BY: JAMES F. O’NEIL

As a teacher of humanities, I often posed a question to myself.  “As a professor of literature and humanities, can I offer my life as an illustration of the benefits that accrue from humanistic studies?”

Does the study of literature and other “humanistic” subjects result in one’s becoming a more decent, liberal, tolerant, and civilized human being? No guarantees, was my answer.

I often thought of Dr. Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), Minister of Propaganda for the Third Reich, the ideological head of the Nazi Party: at age 24, he earned his PhD in Romantic Drama [Humanities] from Heidelberg University.

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