A collection of essays on the current state of Western universities, including some thoughts on causes and effects of the 1960s student unrest and recent trends in administration and structure. While the first third of the book, ""Universal Perspectives,"" contains often repetitive, dull, and vague articles, the section on ""National Experiences"" is a much more valuable and detailed series of case studies. Among the standouts are Edward Shils' crisp narrative of the recent history of higher education and Richard Lowenthal's analysis of various, conflicting concepts of academic freedom. Thomas Nipperdey, in his piece on West German universities, explains the faults of the traditional system which rested on heavy state intervention and tremendous power concentrated in the senior faculty, with little direction given to students. The rapid growth and changing mission of the colleges in the 1960s outdated this system, lending impetus to student revolts. Nipperdey critically probes both the radical disruptions and the shortcomings of the limited reforms carried out. Seymour Lipset takes up the last decade's major issues in US universities including the struggle between meritocratic and egalitarian philosophies and the rise of teachers' unions. Other chapters cover Britain, France, Italy, Holland, and Denmark. Despite the occasionally soporific effect, there's enough solid empirical material here to make the book worthwhile.