There are certain classic texts that we must read–books that have become cultural rites of passage. No one is saying you should skip your high school reading list. The problem is thinking that that’s enough. In order to work for “everyone,” those books had to be safe, they had to be accessible, they had to be provocative but not too provocative. There is a very understandable reason that we read All Quiet on the Western Front and not Company K. Or that we read Huckleberry Finn to understand slavery and not Solomon Northup’s real memoir.
Because the latter books are real. The others keep us comfortable, even when they make us think.