Remembering the University of Chicago: Teachers, Scientists, and Scholars

Edward Albert Shils, Editor University of Chicago Press $42.5 (616p) ISBN 978-0-226-75335-5
In commemoration of the University of Chicago's centennial, 45 former students and colleagues here set down recollections and summarize the careers of 47 figures who ``dominated the intellectual life'' of the school between 1920 and 1980. The concentration of individuals associated with Chicago's celebrated departments of physics and economics might make for monotony, but the writers' deep appreciation for their subjects charges the reader with wonder at the variety (and warmth) within disciplines. The best memoirs inspire awe, excitement and admiration, especially when research itself is illuminated--John Simpson on physicist Arthur Holly Compton, Paul Talalay on medical scientist Charles Brenton Huggins. Of the handful of ``celebrity'' contributors, Edward Teller somewhat neglects his subject, physicist James Franck, but even readers who find Teller's essay self-serving will admire his graceful, affable performance. Robert Bork is a different matter: in his able presentation of former university president Edward Levi, he becomes petulant when discussing the '60s student movement. The foreword by sociologist Shils is fraught with puffery. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/1991
Release date: 12/01/1991
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