The piece approaches the problem of the political content of books by way of an analogy. It suggests that we see books as teachers. We should consider them as similar to the human beings who have taught us the most in life. Those teachers will offer many good things, but given that fine teachers are almost always strong and idiosyncratic personalities, they will offer us some lessons that are less than edifying. We shouldn’t throw them out for that. We should sift their lessons and learn from their best. As the Band sings it: You take what you need and you leave the rest.