Education: Classics v. Comics

Does a course in the lyrics of Bob Dylan and the Beatles deserve a subsidy from the Federal Government? The question is typical of the debate that has been taking place within the National Endowment for the Humanities—a debate that will help to shape the direction of federal spending on scholarship for years to come.

Since it was founded in 1965 to promote U.S. achievements "in the realm of ideas and of the spirit," the Endowment for the Humanities has quietly granted almost $70 million, mostly for noncontroversial projects: preparing definitive editions of the...

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