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Join us for a report launch on Tuesday, February 9th at the First Things office in Manhattan with First Things’s own senior editor, Mark Bauerlein, as keynote speaker.

For the past six years, the National Association of Scholars (NAS) has surveyed what books colleges and universities assign as common reading—often a summer reading selection for incoming freshmen. For many students, this is the only book they will read in common with all their classmates.

For the first time, the NAS will be holding an event to launch their report on these “beach books.” Their findings are cause for concern: schools seldom assign classic texts, and the books they assign fall within a narrow genre: parochial, contemporary, commercial, optimistic, obsessed with suffering, and progressive.

Mark Bauerlein is Professor of English at Emory University and Senior Editor at First Things Magazine. His books include Literary Criticism: An Autopsy (1997), The Pragmatic Mind: Explorations in the Psychology of Belief (1997), and The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (2008). His essays have appeared in PMLA, Partisan Review, Wilson Quarterly, Yale Review, Commentary, and New Criterion, and his commentaries and reviews in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Weekly Standard, The Guardian, and Chronicle of Higher Education.

The other speakers will be:

Peter Wyatt Wood
National Association of Scholars

Ashley Thorne

Executive Director
National Association of Scholars

David Randall
Director of Communications
National Association of Scholars