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Podcast: What Your Child Reads Changes His Soul

child reading

Executive Editor Joy Pullmann interviews children’s book author Matthew Mehan about how a healthy society relies on good literature.


On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, Matthew Mehan, director of academic programs and an assistant professor of government at Hillsdale College’s Washington D.C. campus, joins Executive Editor Joy Pullmann to discuss his children’s books “The Handsome Little Cygnet” and “Mr. Mehan’s Mildly Amusing Mythical Mammals” and discuss how what a child reads shapes their soul.

“One of the civilizational hacks of a healthy society is literature actually provides a kind of simulation of experience. You don’t have to make every mistake yourself you can watch someone else make it in fiction,” Mehan said. “I wanted to dramatize the sort of perils and confusion of just engaging in and trying to trust whatever’s out there rather than think about it and think about who loves you and who cares for you and who’s got your best interests in mind and also what really do you use to guide your understanding of how to shape yourself.”

Mehan said people should take special care in evaluating which content should be boosted, rather than following the stories boosted by the culture.

“I’m a professor of government. I think Aristotle’s ‘Politics,’ it’s like practically the first and last lesson. Education is the number one political concern. You care about politics and you don’t care about education? That’s insane. You don’t actually care about politics, you care about glory for yourself. You have to care about education if you are political.”

Listen here: