Education is not a guide

  • Browse by topic
    Search our book database by subject, country, epoch, year of publication or key word.
  • Book show of the week
    Haven't you had time to read the newspaper or drop by us in the last few days? Doesn't matter, because here you can view our review notes from the last six days of publication sorted by newspaper or topic.
  • Literature supplements
    All of our notes on the book reviews in the literature supplements from FAZ, FR, NZZ, SZ, taz and Zeit.


How do you become an educated person? Education is more than information and knowledge, it promises orientation and durability: that which really lasts and is worthwhile. Jan Roß shows how to access this seemingly difficult and closed world. There is no reason to be intimidated by tradition. Education, according to Roß, ultimately means something very simple - that we are not alone in trying to master life and understand the world. How to join this community and how to feel at home in it - that is what his book is about. It accompanies the reader to the Acropolis and Rome, to Shakespeare, Kant and Dostoevsky, but also to scholars like Darwin or revolutionaries like Rosa Luxemburg. Education means knowing the magic password with which we can bring the human legacy of poets, thinkers and artists to speak and call for help. This book is written for those who want to learn the magic formula.

Review note on Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, April 25, 2020

Reviewer Hannah Bethke would have found it better if Jan Roß had crowned his "Guide to Education" with a little more self-reflection. The fact that the author belongs to an educational group and the reviewer's ear rings shrilly when Roß talks about how easily accessible Tolstoy or Poe are, the Oedipus complex, the Bible or Greek philosophy, makes Bethke want to read. According to Bethke, the author apparently does not think that happiness in education is simply not for everyone or that the opportunity is not offered to everyone. A book for people who are already enjoying education, warns Bethke.
Read the review at

Review note on Süddeutsche Zeitung, March 10, 2020

Reviewer Christoph Hartmann quickly injects himself into the "Bach experience" of the then fifteen-year-old author, which once touched him so strongly that all of his "imagery" began there. Good for him, thinks Hartmann. But what would be a conceivable educational experience for others, less privileged, what for today's fifteen-year-olds, what even for those who do not come from Europe? Of course, Roß also knows that there are other things that could serve as a starting point for education. But unfortunately he does not guide his reading audience in it. Apparently he is not concerned with "education" in general, but rather with "his education" over and over again - as in Bach and Shakespeare and the canons of ancient literature and philosophy. There is a little lack of "realism", judges Hartmann, who would have liked a broader incitement to education.
Read the review at