What We Value

As the fall semester commences, this week's review addresses the role of liberal education in uniting people for the common good.

What We Value: Public Health, Social Justice, and Educating for Democracy

Pasquerella, Lynn. Virginia, 2022
176p bibl, 9780813948478 $25.00, 9780813948485 $20.00

What We Value: Public Health, Social Justice, and Educating for Democracy book cover. Tan background with black text. Each word has a dictionary definition under it and is highlighted in yellow.

Philosopher and medical ethicist Pasquerella (American Association of Colleges and Universities) has created an excellent, important text examining what being American means in times of moral distress, political polarization, and inequity and explaining that the answers to facing these growing crises lie in liberal education. The first chapter examines medical ethics and moral injury, pointing out how public trust and compassion fade in the face of COVID-19 and growing political divides. The second chapter addresses the role of liberal education in weathering campus storms, focusing on the need for balancing free speech with equity, especially facing accusations of liberal bias and legislation aimed against antibias training and other activities labeled by accusers as “unpatriotic.” The author in general states the case for liberal education as the key to speaking across differences and coming together for the common good. Pasquerella’s final chapter culminates the overall theme by arguing that liberal education is essential to US democracy, particularly in times of growing racial and economic segregation and extreme polarization. Pasquerella rounds out the book with extensive notes and bibliography sections. Readers will find this book timely and thought-provoking: worth reading, processing, and then reading again.

Summing Up: Essential. All readers.
Reviewer: A. Sheppard, Arkansas State University
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Racial Justice
Social & Behavioral Sciences – Education
Choice Issue: Oct 2022

Enjoy this week’s review? Check out more reviews of related titles: