Dysfunctional illiteracy

October 18, 2012

As some newly arrived students filed out of a lecture theatre recently, I overheard one plaintive youngster declare that she was going to struggle with the module because she "was not very good at this reading thing".

Compare this with Jeremy Black's review of David Wetzel's A Duel of Nations: Germany, France, and the Diplomacy of the War of 1870-1871 (Books, 4 October), where he argues that the author achieves his goal despite "some unnecessary pictures".

One cannot help worrying about the future.

Nick Birbeck, E-learning adviser, University of Exeter

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