Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Asheville School News

Richard Baek   Class of 2017   

Published in The Concord Review

An essay by Asheville School senior Richard Baek has been accepted for publication in The Concord Review, a prestigious academic journal that showcases excellent research papers written by secondary school students. Baek's 4,488-word essay, "John Stuart Mill at The British East India Company: A Defender of Despotism or A Champion of Freedom?" will appear in the Summer 2017 issue.

Baek is thrilled that his essay will be included in The Concord Review. "For me, this is a huge honor," he said. "I am especially glad that students at secondary schools around the world will have a chance to derive inspiration for their own work in history from my essay." 

The Concord Review is highly selective—according to their website, they publish about 5% of submitted essays. A recent editorial in The Boston Globe described The Concord Review as "the world's foremost showcase for first-rate history research by secondary school students." In a 2011 New York Times article, Harvard's Dean of Admissions William Fitzsimmons said that having an essay accepted in the journal was akin to winning a national math competition. 

In his essay, Baek analyzes Mill's theories, actions, and beliefs: "In a classical philosophical discourse, John Stuart Mill is often assumed to be a liberal-minded thinker who championed freedom and respected particularities of different cultures," Baek wrote. "However, contrary to this common assumption, John Mill viewed the rights and best interests of the Indian subjects in a similar manner to his chauvinist father, James Mill. In theory, the younger Mill espoused autonomy and freedom. But in practice, he believed in the alleged backwardness of the Indian political customs, and his ideas were also a forerunner of the late-nineteenth century imperialist movement led by Benjamin Disraeli and Joseph Chamberlain." 

Writing this essay was a labor of love for Baek. He began it in a summer program before his Junior year and spent his free time revising the essay before submitting it earlier this year. Baek says that the topic fascinates him because he has always loved studying the theories of John Stuart Mill. 

Baek plans to enter The University of Pennsylvania next year.

The Concord Review is published by William Fitzhugh, and it has been featured in a wide variety of outlets including The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune. You can read more about The Concord Review and purchase copies of the 2017 Summer issue at tcr.org...

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