Constructing the Ivory Tower: Julie Reuben’s Making of the Modern University

Among its critics within and beyond the Ivory Tower, academia carries a reputation for looking critically at anything except itself. That criticism isn’t always fair, but it’s also not unfounded. When I recently read The Making of the Modern University by Julie Reuben, I found the account to be an important corrective to academia’s problem of not knowing its own history. Even though I have an interest in this history and have come across parts of it before, I was surprised at how wrong I was in my understanding of the history of higher ed, and especially the transformations it underwent between the mid-1800s and the mid-2000s.... Read More
King in the North

A Hoard of Knowledge: Max Adams’ King in the North

I was first introduced to the writings of Max Adams through In the Land of Giants, which Kevin and I will hopefully get around to hosting a book club discussion on one of these days. Enchanted by Adams’ compelling prose, especially as it described the elusive world of early medieval Britain, I decided to look up his other works and start from the beginning. That beginning was The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria, and Adams did not disappoint with his study of this great Christian martyr and Anglo-Saxon warrior king.... Read More
Chamberlain IMG_2185

What is Leadership? What was Leadership?

In a Readers Digest article written during his retirement, Dwight Eisenhower ruminated about the characteristics of leadership. Beyond a certain “X Factor” that he chose to leave to psychologists to explain, Eisenhower identified selfless dedication, courage and conviction, fortitude, humility, thorough homework, and the power of persuasion. President Eisenhower was hardly the first person to […]... Read More