The Bible, Shakespeare and Euclid

Fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise - as priests, prophets or philosophers are wise. Specialised competence and success are all that they can imagine....When a youngster like Lincoln sought to educate himself, the immediately available obvious things for him to learn were the Bible, Shakespeare and Euclid. Was he really worse off than those who try to find their way through the technical smorgasbord of the current school system, with its utter inability to distinguish between important and unimportant in any other way than by the demands of the market? Allan Bloom, 'The Closing of the American Mind'