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Mark Edmundson

Mark Edmundson is the author of many books, including Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals (Harvard, 2015) and Why Football Matters: My Education in the Game (Penguin, 2014). He is University Professor at the University of Virginia.


If Everything Is So Amazing, Why’s Nobody Happy?

October 5, 2015 | Essays

When I talk to my students about living for compassion, they tend to be quite interested. But few of them have ever contemplated this sort of life before. Like the life of courage and the life of thought, the life of compassion seems to be receding in our culture. People don’t talk much about ideals any more. We don’t usually offer them as viable options to the young.

A Paint-Factory Education

Fall 2014 | Essays

The summer after my first year in college, I worked in a paint factory. Packard Paint was a small operation—no more than thirty people worked there—tucked away in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a city of about thirty thousand.