Matthew Yglesias and Kevin Drum disagree about Moby Dick . Yglesias:
All that said, I love Moby Dick. Every American should read Moby Dick, it’s our great national epic and you can’t understand the country without it.
I read Moby Dick a couple of months ago. I didn't care for it. I'll spare you the details since I'd just be opening myself up to quite justified charges of philistinism, and who needs that? But I will say this: I don't feel like I understand our country any better for having read it. ...
I have read Moby Dick but I don't remember anything much about it except that it was long and boring. So I agree with Drum.
As for requiring kids to read it, in my opinion this is wrong for anything less than a specialized college level course. Forcing students to read books like this seems like a variant of the theory that the worse a medicine tastes the better it must be for you.