Edward Tenner, “Glenn Beck, Woodrow Wilson, and Liberalism” – from the article (lots in this that bashes Wilson, rightly): At a time when religious bias was still rampant, Wilson appointed Princeton’s first Jewish and Roman Catholic professors. He created a model of higher education and faculty-student relationships, ably summarized by another friend, Barksdale Maynard, that has survived his prejudices, even if it is too seldom realized in practice. What’s sad about Wilson is that he tried to sustain two incompatible goals, the development of every person’s potential on one side, and the enforcement of collective unanimity on the other, even if avoiding “embarrassments” meant betraying ideals.
William Connell, “What Columbus Day Really Means” (h/t aldaily.com) – from the article: The idea, lost on present-day critics of the holiday, was that this would be a national holiday that would be special for recognizing both Native Americans, who were here before Columbus, and the many immigrants–including Italians–who were just then coming to this country in astounding numbers. It was to be a national holiday that was not about the Founding Fathers or the Civil War, but about the rest of American history.
Elif Batuman, “Get a Real Degree” (h/t aldaily.com) – way too long. Waaaaaaaaay too long. And while his criticism of the contemporary creative writing “scene” is spot-on in parts, I can’t endorse every complaint when it’s coming from commentary on a book that looks very problematic. Still, there are some gems in this one.