Rachel Maddow on the Importance of History

Rachel Maddow recently spoke at Stanford University. According to the Stanford Report, “Asked by students what kind of major she looks for in a successful job candidate, Rachel Maddow, the popular television host and best-selling author, did not hesitate in her answer.”

Maddow responded: “I look for people who have done mathematics. Philosophy. Languages. And really,” she emphasized, “History is kind of the king.”


It is certainly refreshing to hear a journalist and activist stressing the importance of History and the humanities in forming citizens—and job applicants—who can master argumentation and writing.

The Stanford Report indicates that only 9 percent of Stanford undergraduates currently choose a major in a humanities field, yet “Stanford alumna and MSNBC television host Rachel Maddow insists that an education in the humanities is a crucial asset in today’s job market, illustrating with her own story how the ability to make good arguments and write well powered her career in advocacy, activism and the national media.”

In making this argument, Maddow questions the stress that many politicians and business leaders place on technological education. Maddow states: “I need good writers rather than good web designers. And they are much harder to find.”

See the Stanford Report for the full story about Rachel Maddow’s on-campus visit. Stanford’s Center for Ethics in Society has posted video of Maddow’s talk on YouTube.


This entry was posted in Careers in History, Digital Humanities, Education Policy, History in the Media, Humanities Education, Political Culture, Undergraduate Work in History. Bookmark the permalink.

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