The deep reader in Civil War history is on a cultural journey. His "cultural IQ" will be defined by reactions to subjects met on the way: 19th Century law and politics, military science, biography, religion, literature, society, music. The ACW signals an intellectual curiosity that is not limited to an interest in the ACW.
On the other hand, attendees at the go-getter vocational schools tend to focus, focus, focus and the focus is culturally fatal producing an outcome the Russians call "NYE KULTURNYE". These highly credentialed nye kulturny types have loads of degrees, contacts, and publications, but they completely lack in cultural curiosity or a general cultural development after college.
They are not people you would spend any time with. How well I recall my mother's contempt for the society of medical doctors (for instance) into which she had been condemned for life.
Ordinary Americans generally confuse credentials, branding, presentation, and prestige for what they call "smarts." The word "smart" here (stateside) covers everything from intelligence to learning to cleverness. The thing it does not cover is something Civil War readers immerse themselves in: culture.
If the MD and JD tend to be philistines, imagine what you have when you travel down the professional credential chain to the world of hotshot MBA candidates and wannabe investment bankers.
Here is what you have. Harvard students responding to "What [city] is the capital of Canada?" Gasp away.
More in a similar vein, on Lincoln.
The hits keep coming. The interviewer himself substitutes "gave to us" for "brought forth on this continent." We grammar schools students, living in the impoverished desert of the pine barrens, had to learn it by heart.
As this seems to be a dog-bites-man story, I'll desist from further updates.