Education: Parnassus, Coast to Coast

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What does it mean to be an intellectual in the U.S.? Is he really in such an unhappy plight as he sometimes thinks—the ridiculed double-dome, the egghead, the wild-eyed, absent-minded man who is made to feel an alien in his own country?

Ever since World War II, U.S. intellectuals have, as never before, been debating these questions. But in the course of the debate, one note has been struck time and time again, and no one has sounded it more clearly than Historian Jacques Barzun of Columbia University. If there is a...

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