In earnest and lucid support of a counterintuitive idea, Anders tells the stories of liberal arts majors who have managed to establish themselves in all kinds of careers... Though he isn’t writing from the perspective of someone out to save liberal education, he does seem worried about its future, and his book offers a way to stop or slow the trend of dwindling numbers of liberal arts majors ...In a time of anxiety about student debt and the future of the workplace, Anders’s stories of career success speak to visceral concern ... Anders focuses on utility for the individual — there’s a reason why his book’s title is addressed to 'you' and not 'we' — and in emphasizing private material gains his book is representative of its genre.
...George Anders’s You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Education is meant to inspire students to recognize how a multifaceted undergraduate experience can aid them in the workplace ... Mr. Anders introduces readers to students from a wide variety of schools who have made their 'useless' educations powerful indeed ... Liberal-arts grads, he suggests, will be especially adept at helping translate technological innovation into everyday uses because they have studied and practiced the 'nuanced feat of changing people’s minds' ...wants his book to be a practical resource and, like Mr. Stross, provides many instructive examples. Readers should feel permitted to sample them rather than plow through them all.
While You Can Do Anything and A Practical Education supply useful talking points in support of the financial viability of studying the liberal arts, they may arouse more fear than hope ... While Anders, a contributing writer at Forbes magazine, clearly wants the best for recent liberal arts graduates, his pep talk often consists of rebranding the treacherous market conditions of the 21st century as part of a thrilling new frontier ...somehow it seems unlikely that his analogy to white-water rafting will get them excited to send out yet another batch of cover letters and résumés ...also raise hard questions about who exactly can turn a liberal arts degree into a successful career.