HARVARD: Through Change & Through Storm by

HARVARD: Through Change & Through Storm

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In one of the many attractive anecdotes on which this portrait subsists, a cataloguer in the Widener Library is overheard saying ""You can justify almost anything around here by saying it comes under social history."" Which alto applies to Mr. Kahn's view of his Alma Mater after returning there to spend a year (1967-8) during which he could hardly be unaware of the changes and ""storm"" which led to the 1969 incident in the Yard. Be that as it may, older attitudes abide -- the understated superiority, the tolerance (on all controversial issues), the paternalism, the unquestionable eclat of the best in that ""enclave of wealth and tradition."" Mr. Kahn's ""impressionistic"" -- viz. ambient -- account goes from current admissions procedures (applications now pass the 8000 mark and there are lots of 800s) to the student-faculty rapport (the latter to be approached by the former who are seldom shy) to the curriculum, the clubs, sports, publications, the Dow episode and drug scene, the Radcliffe girls (their brightness is also ""breathtaking""), the town-gown cleavage, the presidents, special schools, etc. etc. All of it in Mr. Kahn's familiar, faultlessly easy, button-down style which also helps to keep Harvard fair.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1969
Publisher: Norton