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In a new Letter on Liberty published by the Academy of Ideas, Harley Richardson argues that education has always had a tension between the practical or technical application of skills and the broader appreciation of a liberal approach to knowledge

Drawing on the tradition of radical pamphlets from the seventeenth century onwards – designed to be argued over in the pub as much as parliament – Letters on Liberty promises to make you think twice. Each Letter stakes a claim for how to forge a freer society in the here and now.

The Liberating Power of Education is a powerful and historically informative essay on how our views of education and its worth have come to be – and why education is central to the idea of freedom.


“A masterful historical understanding of why liberal education is the way out of so many problems… people are always saying maybe we can add something to the curriculum, use education as a vehicle for propagandising this, that or the other… and Harley stands firm on the importance of education in its own right.”

Claire Fox, Director, Academy of Ideas

The Liberating Power of Education is available for £2+p&p from the Academy of Ideas.

Or purchase the latest bundle of three Letters for a fiver, the other two being ‘The Seductive Power of Literature’ by Phil Harrison and ‘Toxic Sociality: Reflections on a Pandemic’ by Josie Appleton.