For some of us classicists (even those of us who were lesser breeds outside the Harvard yard) the Red Book was energizing. It was easy to trace , for example, the straight line between the report and the break-through book on Thucydides written by the Vice-chair, of the Harvard committee that produce the report, John H. Finley.
Since then it seems to me general education has become blurrier and blurrier. A smattering here and a smattering thee. Nice things to read, your favorites and mine. Without the clear purpose, of course students want to "get it out of the way." Without a sense of urgency and focus, it wanders hither and yon, pushed about by political pressures and the fashion of the moment. Or so it seems.
So maybe it is time for a new Red Book, not by Harvard but by those in many institutional settings who recognize the need to restate that civic vision for the radically changed circumstances of today.