||THE COLLEGE: GENERAL EDUCATION 13 "Modern history becomes more and more a race between general education and catastrophe." I believe this to be true. Why? To answer this question, one must define general education. The name is not a happy one, but it is hard to suggest a better. "Basic" and "common" are only partial equivalents for "general"; and the "liberal" education of nineteenth century tradition, while an ancestor, has an air of aristocracy and remoteness from practice that its descendant does not. However awkward the name, the nature of general education seems clear. It is, first of all, for everybody. It is the knowledge and discipline most essential to men and women as human beings living together in a free society. As such, its emphasis is on what is common to us all, the needs and responsibilities which we share just as people, and not on those which differentiate us according to creed or color or section or income or business. It is thus "general" as distinct from special, professional, or vocational educations. It does not replace these, of course; it complements them. Men and women must earn their livings; they need training to help them. But Americans are inclined â€" in practice if not in theory â€" to demand of the school that it prepare them to be economically successful, and not to worry much if it prepares them to be nothing else. For its part, the school, rather characteristically, has tried to deliver a two-toned, chrome-plated product all ready to run (preferably like a million dollars) right at the door of the vice president in charge of operations. I suspect that we have overdone it, from the point of view of business success itself, and that general education may have as a by-product an increase in the individual's vocational usefulness. The Danish People's Schools, regarded by some educators as models for adult general education, have curricula largely literary and historical, though most students are agricultural workers. One rather unexpected sequel to their growth has been better farming and the economic transformation of Denmark.8 At any rate, "general" means "for all." The teacher, the chemist, the salesman, the engineer are not exempt from the needs of human nature or the obligations of citizenship; why should any of them be exempt from education for these? We shall always want specialists, but specialists who are also something else. Unless we have them, we are not likely to get by that first horizon. On the score of mere self-interest, what shall it profit a man that he have the best technical training conceivable, if he can use it only while nervously watching the sky, or must forget or pervert it when the bombs come down? "A man," says T. S. Eliot, "is both an individual and a member. ... A man is not himself unless he is a member; and he cannot be a member unless he is also something alone." General education is concerned with both these roles. It is concerned with a man as a person, one who thinks, feels, knows fear and ambition, desires happiness and experiences sorrow, falls in love, has children and a home. It is concerned with a man in his relations, as a member of groups: the family, the neighborhood, the nation, and finally that community of the race 8 See Sir Richard Livingstone, "The Future in Education," pp. 44-46, 54-55, in On Education (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; New York: Macmillan, 1944). Throughout my paper, I am much indebted to this work.