Education: Decide as You Go

To the villagers of Minsk in Czarist Russia, little Morris Raphael Cohen seemed definitely feebleminded. He was painfully shy, so listless, awkward, and clumsy that neighbors called him Kalyé-keh (a colloquialism for half-wit). Only his mother really knew him. "Never mind," she would say when people taunted him. "Some day they will all be proud to have talked to my Meisheleh."

Mother Cohen's prophecy came true. She lived to see her son become a professor of philosophy at the College of the City of New York, the most brilliant man on the faculty and...

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