Sunday, February 26, 2006

As goes Harvard, so goes the Nation?

How the Liberal Arts Got That Way

And, therefore, reason to hope that the present cycle of reaction will eventually come to an end?

Mr. Pearl wishes to explain the resignation of Summers by comparing it to the University’s pre-Civil War ferment. His comparison seems a bit strained, but the course of events from the 1830s to 1869 (the election of Charles William Eliot) is a fascinating story of liberalization followed by repression and culminating in the collapse of reactionary resistance.

Perhaps it is foolish to generalize from a nineteenth-century college campus to a twenty-first century megastate, but I offer the thought in hopes of injecting a note of optimism to offset my previous expressions of pessimism about the fate of our country.


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