Exhibit from a conference on the future of the Smithsonian, 1927. Photograph by Arthur J. Olmsted. Smithsonian Institution Archives.
“In my sophomore year of high school, I came upon a remarkable book in a garbage pile next to the house where we rented an apartment in Queens,” scholar Roosevelt Montás writes at the beginning of Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation. “It was the second volume of the pretentiously bound Harvard Classics series, and it contained a set of dialogues by Plato that record the last days of Socrates’ life. This first encounter with Socrates was a fortuitous as it was decisive. There is probably no better introduction to the life of the mind than Socrates’ defense of his philosophic activity in these dialogues.”
This week on the podcast, Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Roosevelt Montás, author of Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation, about what came after Montás read Plato for the first time and why he considers access to a liberal education so vital.
Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.