“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
— Ray Bradbury
Wilberforce coined the term “cobelligerency” to describe his willingness to work with people he disagreed with on specific causes they shared common concern over. Several years ago, on a project I worked with for the Gates Foundation, I met David Coleman, currently head of The College Board. Although we may disagree on a a number of issues, we did agree on C. S. Lewis’ analysis of the decline in reading expressed in his book An Experiment in Criticism.
Karen Swallow Prior’s excellent essay in Christianity Today (click here to read) describes a conversation we held to discuss the decline in reading, and the College Board’s interest in working with the faith community to address it.
Good friends like Maggie Gallagher may differ with friends like Barrett Duke , Checker Finn, Bill Bennett and Mike Huckabee on approaches to promote critical thinking through “right reading”, but we do all agree that without without a reading and thinking electorate, the future will be very difficult to navigate and our democracy is weakened.