THE ASPHALT CAMPUS by Geoffrey Wagner


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Beginning as a rather leisurely satire on what passes for education in New York's municipal colleges (particularly City College which, the author would have us believe, consists almost entirely of engineering majors), The Asphalt Campus soon accelerates into a wild burlesque of the more ridiculous aspects of the educational apparatus. Then, not content with exaggerating the sillier practices of the promotion system, grading, faculty meetings, fraternity life (the equal of these ""Lincoln"" college ""boys"" surely could not be encountered outside of a penitentiary) and modern methods of administration, the author widens the area of derision. Phases of the publishing world, congressional investigating committees, moviemakers, homosexuals, gossip columnists, pacifists, beatniks -- all get their due. The hinge for this tomfoolery is the highhanded dismissal of a Full Professor for ""conduct unbecoming..."" and the efforts of his colleagues and the more adventurous students to reinstate him (and perhaps discover what he was up to). But the Professor, no mean marksman himself, outwits everyone and the novel ends on the upbeat. It's funny if you don't find the ricochets distracting.

Pub Date: Jan. 7th, 1962
Publisher: Macmillan