Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America's University

By Morton Keller; Phyllis Keller | Go to book overview

PREFACE

Early each Cambridge spring, visiting families and tour groups crop up like crocuses in Harvard Yard. As the weather warms, their numbers mount. Year by year they are more numerous, more polyglot, more like dutiful pilgrims to a shrine. Their guides take them to old familiar places:

To Daniel Chester French's statue of John Harvard, gazing down from his pedestal in front of Charles Bulfinch's University Hall. There they are fed threadworn factoids: that the statue bears no likeness to its subject (no picture of John Harvard exists), that the scant details provided on the pedestal are wrong (he was not the University's founder; the College began not in 1638, but 1636).

Next, to a circuit of the surrounding serene Old Yard: a cyclorama of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American architecture, starting with prerevolutionary Massachusetts, Harvard, and Hollis Halls and Holden Chapel, proceeding past Federal-era Stoughton, Holworthy, and University Halls, and ending with the ever more assertedly Victorian Thayer, Weld, Boylston, Grays, and Matthews.

Then on to the neighboring New Yard, dominated by the massive Roman front of Widener Library, there to be told the well-worn tale of young Harry Widener 07, precocious collector of incunabula, lost with the Titanic and commemorated for eternity by this building, the gift of his grieving mother. Facing Widener is capacious Memorial Church, built to remember Harvard's fallen in World War I, a squat base dominated by ample hollow wooden columns, topped by a classic Congregational spire: “all Emily Dickinson up above, all Mae West down below.” Then on to the famous glass flowers housed in the Museum of Comparative Zoology….

What are they looking for? What do they see? The Old Yard is one of America's architectural treasures. Indeed,

-xi-

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Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America's University
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Prologue - Fete Accompli, 1936 3
  • Part I - The Meritocratic University 1933–1953 11
  • 1 - James Bryant Conant and the Meritocratic University 13
  • 2 - The College 32
  • 3 - “lesser Breeds” 47
  • 4 - The Faculty of Arts and Sciences 64
  • 5 - The Professional Schools 110
  • 6 - Managing Harvard 134
  • 7 - Harvard and the Real World 152
  • Part II - “an Engine of Power and Responsibility”: 1953–1971 171
  • 8 - Nathan Marsh Pusey and the Affluent University 173
  • 9 - Governing the Affluent University 189
  • 10 - The Ascendant Faculty 211
  • 11 - The Professional Schools 252
  • 12 - A Plurality of Minorities 276
  • 13 - The College 290
  • 14 - Crisis and Recovery 307
  • Part III - “a Buzzing Confusion”:1971–2000 339
  • 15 - Derek Curtis Bok and the Worldly University 341
  • 16 - Governing 359
  • 17 - The Faculty of Arts and Sciences 383
  • 18 - The Professional Schools 432
  • 19 - The College 464
  • Epilogue 481
  • A Note on the Notes 495
  • Notes 499
  • Acknowledgments 565
  • Index 567
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