MY HARVARD, MY YALE by Diana--Ed. Dubois


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What perspective encompasses these random memoirs of My Harvard? Are they intrinsically any more interesting or any more important than My Bates, My Beloit? Surely not."" So writes Ben Bradlee, one of 24 ""famous"" alumni who've contributed short college-years memoirs to this anthology--and most readers will agree that, indeed, the supposed Harvard/Yale aura doesn't go very far nowadays. Still, most of the offerings here are unpresumptuous, with bits of low-key charm or period color along the way. Michael J. Arlen (H '52) recalls his ""first grown-up dinner invitation!""--with a 23-year-old junior and his wife. Dr. Spock (Y '25) describes his principal undergrad occupation: ""to try to change my self-image as a mother's boy."" J. Anthony Lukas and William Proxmire touch on the limited undergrad awareness of worlds beyond the campus. Robert Coles salutes Harvard profs Perry Miller and Werner Jaeger. Cliffies like Alison Lurie muse on the Harvard/Radcliffe identity-crisis. The turbulent '60s come in assorted shades from a half-dozen grads--including (most refreshingly) filmmaker Herbert Wright. And the 1970s voices are Yale's Michiko Kakutani, whose mini-memoir displays a jauntiness which has yet to surface in her school-marmish N.Y. Times reports; and James Atlas, whose name-dropping account of literary Harvard includes a dandy Alan Ginsberg anecdote. Some minor amusement and insights, then--but chiefly an item for the coffee-tables of show-offy alums.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 1982
Publisher: Random House