Thursday, February 23, 2006

Larry Summers and the culture wars

So, Lawrence Summers, the boss of that citadel of pampered privelige that is Harvard, has resigned rather than being sacked, having irritated his liberal employees too many time.

The Dershowitzian right comes out with predictable views, with which I basically sympathise. Thomas Sowell, in "Another academic casualty" writes:
"Students are getting half an education at inflated prices and learning only how to label, dismiss and demonize ideas that differ from what they have been led to believe. Their "educated" ignorance is a danger to the future of this country."
Sploid says:
"Cornell West called [Summers] "the Ariel Sharon of American higher education" for his "bull in a china shop" approach. (Being fat and Jewish probably helped, too.)"
In "Prejudice Wins", The Washington Post weighs in with suprisingly iliberal hefty attack on political correctness. Final line: "in university politics as elsewhere, loud and unreasonable minorities can trump good sense."

Other views go beyond the usual-suspects culture war positions. Margaret Soltan, Easily Distracted and Grad Student Madness give plenty of reasons to be against Summers, regardless of your position in the kulturkampf, such as his cronyism. Left Center Left similarly goes beyond the culture wars.

Keith Boykin tells of the Larry Summers he knew: a man who eats all the M&Ms. James Traub, in Slate, talks of his affection for the "barely socialized" Summers.


2 comments:

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Being in Levant here, I am a bit far from Harvard (although my daughter spent some time in Cornell, so I know a bit about goings-on there, at least). Still, the whole story eerily reminds my the "Human Stain" by Roth.

Not very funny, unfortunately.

bob said...

Human Stain - that's exactly right. What a great book!

b