Colleges: A Thinking Reed

The story is wrong—and it infuriates Reed College all the more because Reed, a place that goes for beards, guitars and sandals, is just unconventional enough that the yarn sounds as though it might be true. The story is often cited in two cities: in Portland, Ore., Reed's home town, and Moscow. In the Russian capital, not long ago, a Kremlin guide halted some U.S. professors at the tomb of U.S.

Communist John Reed and repeated the legend once more. "Here," he said, "is the founder of one of your colleges." John Reed, a rich boy...

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