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"Why do we constantly degrade or lampoon teachers? What they do is how civilizations are built - 'no craft more privileged' says George Steiner . . . Perhaps it's because too many teachers, like me, fell ignominiously short of greatness. Steiner is not one of those. In these six Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, he brings his formidable charisma, his unrivalled range of reference and powers of rhetoric to bear on the peaks (as well as some troughs) of pedagogy, in history and literature: Socrates and Alcibiades, the parables of Christ, Faust, Virgil and Dante, Abelard and Eloise . . . Like his hero Socrates, Steiner professes to have few answers, but his questions sweep you along."
— Robin Blake