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Liberal Arts Excellence: Economics Reading Groups

This fall, two of Dartmouth’s most distinguished professors Meir Kohn and Douglas Irwin, both of the Economics Department, will be leading extracurricular reading groups. Both groups will meet on Monday evening; Professor Kohn’s will discuss The Welfare State We’re In by James Bartholomew and Professor Irwin’s The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.

If you’ll permit me to lapse in to a little commentary before proceeding with more specifics, these reading groups, it seems to me, are the essence of what an undergraduate, liberal arts education should be all about. Intimate interaction between professors and students, an exploration of critical thinkers and ideas, extracurricular engagement in academics, and an open exchange of ideas. The groups are also and especially exciting because while many students are well versed in Marx and Engels (I have had to read the Communist Manifesto for at least three classes at Dartmouth), far fewer are familiar with treatises on the free market. I know of not a single class that reads F.A. Hayek, for example, to say nothing of Mises, Bastiat, Smith, &c. And this is, after all, the economic (and political) system under which we purport to live!

By way of information (and advertisement for what I think are truly going to be great intellectual experiences) the groups will be held from 7-9pm. Groups will get together to discuss a section from their books over refreshments and, I’m sure, lively debate and discussion.

For Dartmouth students looking for more information, or to sign up, email:

Douglas.A.Irwin@Dartmouth.EDU

Meir.G.Kohn@Dartmouth.EDU

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