Education: The Last Rampart

When Novelist-Anthropologist Oliver (Laughing Boy) La Farge wrote his autobiography at 43, he had some sharp words to say. about U.S. private prep schools, and Groton in particular. Such places, said he, are "grindingly conformist." Last week, in the Atlantic Monthly, La Farge, now 52, announced a change of heart.

After more years of teaching and lecturing (mostly at the universities of Utah and New Mexico) and meeting the products of U.S. public education, he has come to the conclusion that—former President Conant of Harvard to the contrary—we need private schools . . ....

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